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Research Article | Open Access

Zr2SeB and Hf2SeB: Two new MAB phase compounds with the Cr2AlC-type MAX phase (211 phase) crystal structures

Qiqiang ZHANGa,Yanchun ZHOUb( )Xingyuan SANc,Wenbo LIcYiwang BAOdQingguo FENGaSalvatore GRASSOaChunfeng HUa( )
Key Laboratory of Advanced Technologies of Materials, Ministry of Education, School of Materials Science and Engineering, Southwest Jiaotong University, Chengdu 610031, China
Science and Technology on Advanced Functional Composite Laboratory, Aerospace Research Institute of Materials & Processing Technology, Beijing 100076, China
Hebei Key Lab of Optic–Electronic Information and Materials, College of Physics Science and Technology, Hebei University, Baoding 071002, China
State Key Laboratory of Green Building Materials, China Building Materials Academy, Beijing 100024, China

† Qiqiang Zhang and Xingyuan San contributed equally to this work.

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Graphical Abstract


The ternary or quaternary layered compounds called MAB phases are frequently mentioned recently together with the well-known MAX phases. However, MAB phases are generally referred to layered transition metal borides, while MAX phases are layered transition metal carbides and nitrides with different types of crystal structure although they share the common nano-laminated structure characteristics. In order to prove that MAB phases can share the same type of crystal structure with MAX phases and extend the composition window of MAX phases from carbides and nitrides to borides, two new MAB phase compounds Zr2SeB and Hf2SeB with the Cr2AlC-type MAX phase (211 phase) crystal structure were discovered by a combination of first-principles calculations and experimental verification in this work. First-principles calculations predicted the stability and lattice parameters of the two new MAB phase compounds Zr2SeB and Hf2SeB. Then they were successfully synthesized by using a thermal explosion method in a spark plasma sintering (SPS) furnace. The crystal structures of Zr2SeB and Hf2SeB were determined by a combination of the X-ray diffraction (XRD), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and high-resolution transmission electron microscopy (HRTEM). The lattice parameters of Zr2SeB and Hf2SeB are a = 3.64398 Å, c = 12.63223 Å and a = 3.52280 Å, c = 12.47804 Å, respectively. And the atomic positions are M at 4f (1/3, 2/3, 0.60288 [Zr] or 0.59889 [Hf]), Se at 2c (1/3, 2/3, 1/4), and B at 2a (0, 0, 0). And the atomic stacking sequences follow those of the Cr2AlC-type MAX phases. This work opens up the composition window for the MAB phases and MAX phases and will trigger the interests of material scientists and physicists to explore new compounds and properties in this new family of materials.


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Journal of Advanced Ceramics
Pages 1764-1776
Cite this article:
ZHANG Q, ZHOU Y, SAN X, et al. Zr2SeB and Hf2SeB: Two new MAB phase compounds with the Cr2AlC-type MAX phase (211 phase) crystal structures. Journal of Advanced Ceramics, 2022, 11(11): 1764-1776.








Web of Science






Received: 16 March 2022
Revised: 12 August 2022
Accepted: 17 August 2022
Published: 05 November 2022
© The Author(s) 2022.

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