2D metal carbides and nitrides (MXenes) for energy storage

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The family of 2D transition metal carbides, carbonitrides and nitrides (collectively referred to as MXenes) has expanded rapidly since the discovery of Ti3C2 in 2011. The materials reported so far always have surface terminations, such as hydroxyl, oxygen or fluorine, which impart hydrophilicity to their surfaces. About 20 different MXenes have been synthesized, and the structures and properties of dozens more have been theoretically predicted. The availability of solid solutions, the control of surface terminations and a recent discovery of multi-transition-metal layered MXenes offer the potential for synthesis of many new structures. The versatile chemistry of MXenes allows the tuning of properties for applications including energy storage, electromagnetic interference shielding, reinforcement for composites, water purification, gas- and biosensors, lubrication, and photo-, electro- and chemical catalysis. Attractive electronic, optical, plasmonic and thermoelectric properties have also been shown. In this Review, we present the synthesis, structure and properties of MXenes, as well as their energy storage and related applications, and an outlook for future research.

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Figure 1: MXenes reported so far.
Figure 2: Synthesis and characterization of MXenes.
Figure 3: Effect of synthesis conditions on MXene.
Figure 4: Mechanical and optical properties of MXenes.
Figure 5: Modification of the electronic properties of MXenes by changing outer M layers.
Figure 6: MXenes as electrodes in different kinds of batteries.
Figure 7: Capacitive performance of MXenes.


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The authors worked with M. W. Barsoum (Drexel University) and P. Simon (Paul Sabatier University) on MXene synthesis and energy storage, respectively. Y.G. thanks numerous graduate students and post-docs, as well as collaborators at Drexel and elsewhere, who helped in the exploration of MXenes. Research on MXenes was supported by the Fluid Interface Reactions, Structures and Transport (FIRST) Center, an Energy Frontier Research Center funded by the US Department of Energy, Office of Science and Office of Basic Energy Sciences. B.A. was supported by King Abdullah University of Science and Technology under the KAUST-Drexel University Competitive Research Grant.

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Correspondence to Yury Gogotsi.

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Supplementary information

Supplementary information S1 (figure)

Schematics of M2AX, M3AX2, M4AX3 crystal structures. (PDF 404 kb)

Supplementary information S2 (table)

Known M2AX, M3AX2, M4AX3 MAX phases to date1,2. (PDF 71 kb)

Supplementary information S3 (table)

MXene synthesis conditions (PDF 71 kb)

Supplementary information S4 (Box)

Delamination via intercalation (PDF 151 kb)

Supplementary information S5 (figure)

MXene crystal structures showing atomic ordering of M, X and T elements. (PDF 151 kb)

Supplementary information S6 (figure)

Effect of etching conditions on MXenes. (PDF 111 kb)

Supplementary information S7 (Box)

XRD patterns during MXene synthesis (PDF 129 kb)

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