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MAX phases (Ti3SiC2, Ti3AlC2, V2AlC, Ti4AlN3, etc.) are layered ternary carbides/nitrides, which are generally processed and researched as structure ceramics. Selectively removing A layer from MAX phases, MXenes (Ti3C2, V2C, Mo2C, etc.) with two-dimensional (2D) structure can be prepared. The MXenes are electrically conductive and hydrophilic, which are promising as functional materials in many areas. This article reviews the milestones and the latest progress in the research of MAX phases and MXenes, from the perspective of ceramic science. Especially, this article focuses on the conversion from MAX phases to MXenes. First, we summarize the microstructure, preparation, properties, and applications of MAX phases. Among the various properties, the crack healing properties of MAX phase are highlighted. Thereafter, the critical issues on MXene research, including the preparation process, microstructure, MXene composites, and application of MXenes, are reviewed. Among the various applications, this review focuses on two selected applications: energy storage and electromagnetic interference shielding. Moreover, new research directions and future trends on MAX phases and MXenes are also discussed.

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From structural ceramics to 2D materials with multi-applications: A review on the development from MAX phases to MXenes

Show Author's information Aiguo ZHOUa( )Yi LIUb( )Shibo LIc( )Xiaohui WANGd( )Guobing YINGe( )Qixun XIAaPeigen ZHANGf( )
School of Materials Science and Engineering, Henan Polytechnic University, Jiaozuo 454003, China
School of Materials Science & Engineering, Shaanxi University of Science & Technology, Xi’an 710021, China
Center of Materials Science and Engineering, School of Mechanical and Electronic Control Engineering, Beijing Jiaotong University, Beijing 100044, China
Shenyang National Laboratory for Materials Science, Institute of Metals Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shenyang 110016, China
College of Mechanics and Materials, Hohai University, Nanjing 211100, China
School of Materials Science and Engineering, Southeast University, Nanjing 211189, China


MAX phases (Ti3SiC2, Ti3AlC2, V2AlC, Ti4AlN3, etc.) are layered ternary carbides/nitrides, which are generally processed and researched as structure ceramics. Selectively removing A layer from MAX phases, MXenes (Ti3C2, V2C, Mo2C, etc.) with two-dimensional (2D) structure can be prepared. The MXenes are electrically conductive and hydrophilic, which are promising as functional materials in many areas. This article reviews the milestones and the latest progress in the research of MAX phases and MXenes, from the perspective of ceramic science. Especially, this article focuses on the conversion from MAX phases to MXenes. First, we summarize the microstructure, preparation, properties, and applications of MAX phases. Among the various properties, the crack healing properties of MAX phase are highlighted. Thereafter, the critical issues on MXene research, including the preparation process, microstructure, MXene composites, and application of MXenes, are reviewed. Among the various applications, this review focuses on two selected applications: energy storage and electromagnetic interference shielding. Moreover, new research directions and future trends on MAX phases and MXenes are also discussed.


MAX phases, MXenes, Ti3SiC2, Ti3C2Tx
Received: 05 July 2021 Revised: 06 September 2021 Accepted: 07 September 2021 Published: 10 November 2021 Issue date: December 2021
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Publication history
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Publication history

Received: 05 July 2021
Revised: 06 September 2021
Accepted: 07 September 2021
Published: 10 November 2021
Issue date: December 2021


© The Author(s) 2021


This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (51772077, 51602184, and 11872171), Program for Innovative Research Team (in Science and Technology) in the University of Henan Province (19IRTSTHN027), China Postdoctoral Science Foundation (2019M652537), Henan Postdoctoral Foundation (19030065), Henan Province Key Science and Technology Research Projects (202102310628), and the Foundation of Henan Educational Committee (20B430006). We thank the graduate students in our groups (Yitong GUO and Ru YANG from Henan Polytechnic University, and Meng WU and Lu LIU from Hohai University) for helping collect data and organize the manuscript. We also acknowledge the contribution of Dr. Renfei CHENG to this review.

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