The connected home, the connected car, the connected person – all this connection has electromagnetic compatibility at the forefront of electronics design. One issue stands: the higher the demand for smaller more integrated devices, the greater the design challenge. However, this issue may have a new solution.
Researchers from Drexel University and the Korea Institute of Science and Technology have developed a thin nanomaterial film using MXene to effectively block and shield from electromagnetic interference (EMI).
Their study, funded by the National Institute of Science, detailed in the paper, ‘Electromagnetic Interference Shielding with 2D Transition Metal Carbides (MXenes)’, and recently published in the journal Science, indicates:
“A 45-micrometer-thick Ti3C2Tx film exhibited EMI shielding effectiveness of 92 decibels (>50 decibels for a 2.5-micrometer film), which is the highest among synthetic materials of comparable thickness produced to date.”
The coating contains just a few-atoms of thin titanium carbide and will effectively block and contain EMI. Titanium carbide is one of twenty in a family of 2D transition metal carbides, discovered by Drexel scientists in 2011, known as MXenes. When the electromagnetic waves come in contact with MXene some are immediately reflected while others lose energy as they pass through the thin atomic layers of the material. MXene is also extremely thin and can be combined with a polymer to create an easy to adhere composite coating.
“To have all these electronic components working without interfering with each other, we need shields that are thin, light and easy to apply to devices of different shapes and sizes. We believe MXenes are going to be the next generation of shielding materials for portable, flexible and wearable electronics.”
A development such as this could help engineers create more compact devices by eliminating the need to design and accommodate for traditional shielding materials like conductive cages or metals.