Abstract: 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. More than twenty 2D carbides, nitrides and carbonitrides of transition metals (MXenes) have been synthesized and studied, and dozens more predicted to exist. Highly electrically conductive MXenes show promise in electrical energy storage, electromagnetic interference shielding, electrocatalysis, plasmonics and other applications.
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