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Heterogeneous, 3D Architecturing of 2D Titanium Carbide (MXene) for Microdroplet Manipulation and Voice Recognition

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posted on 2020-02-04, 19:47 authored by Ye Zhang, Ting-Hsiang Chang, Lin Jing, Kerui Li, Haitao Yang, Po-Yen Chen
Mismatched deformation in a bilayer composite with rigid coating on a soft substrate results in complex and uniform topographic patterns, yet it remains challenging to heterogeneously pattern the upper coatings with various localized structures. Herein, a heterogeneous, 3D microstructure composed of Ti3C2Tx titanium carbide (MXene) and single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs) was fabricated using a one-step deformation of a thermally responsive substrate with designed open holes. The mechanically deformed SWNT–MXene (s-MXene) structure was next transferred onto an elastomeric substrate, and the resulting s-MXene/elastomer bilayer device exhibited three localized surface patterns, including isotropic crumples, periodic wrinkles, and large papillae-like microstructures. By adjusting the number and pattern, the s-MXene papillae arrays exhibited superhydrophobicity (>170°), strong and tunable adhesive force (52.3–110.6 μN), and ultra-large liquid capacity (up to 35 μL) for programmable microdroplet manipulation. The electrically conductive nature of s-MXene further enabled proper thermal management on microdroplets via Joule heating for miniaturized antibacterial tests. The s-MXene papillae were further fabricated in a piezoresistive pressure sensor with high sensitivity (11.47 kPa–1). The output current changes of s-MXene sensors were highly sensitive to voice vibrations and responded identically with prerecorded profiles, promising their application in accurate voice acquisition and recognition.

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