Open Access Rapid Communication Issue
Facile synthesis of hollow Ti3AlC2 microrods in molten salts via Kirkendall effect
Journal of Advanced Ceramics 2022, 11 (9): 1491-1497
Published: 28 July 2022
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The microstructure and morphology of Ti3AlC2 powders not only affect the preparation of Ti3C2 MXene but also have a great influence on their potential applications, such as microwave absorbers, alloy additives, or catalytic supports. However, the synthesis of Ti3AlC2 powders with desired microstructure and morphology remains a challenge. Herein, hollow Ti3AlC2 microrods were prepared for the first time in NaCl/KCl molten salts by using titanium, aluminum, and short carbon fibers as starting materials. It was found that the short carbon fibers not only performed as carbon source but also acted as sacrificial template. Furthermore, it was revealed that TiC and Ti2AlC were initially formed on the surface of carbon fibers. The subsequent reactions between the outer Ti, Al and the inner carbon were dominated by the Kirkendall effect which gave rise to the formation of a hollow structure. Based on this mechanism, hollow Ti3AlC2 microspheres and a series of hollow TiC, Ti2AlC, and V2AlC powders were also successfully fabricated. This work provides a facile route to synthesize hollow MAX phases and may give enlightenment on preparing other hollow carbide powders via the Kirkendall effect in the molten salts.

Open Access Review Issue
From structural ceramics to 2D materials with multi-applications: A review on the development from MAX phases to MXenes
Journal of Advanced Ceramics 2021, 10 (6): 1194-1242
Published: 10 November 2021
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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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