Predicted Surface Composition and Thermodynamic Stability of MXenes in Solution

Michael Ashton, Kiran Mathew, Richard G. Hennig, Susan B. Sinnott

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

135 Scopus citations


First-principles calculations are used to compare the binding energies of O, OH, and F on two-dimensional, metal carbide and nitride, or MXene, surfaces in order to predict the dependence of the thermodynamic stability of these compounds on their chemical composition. Solvation effects are implicitly included in the calculations to reproduce experimental conditions as closely as possible. The results indicate that all MXene surfaces are saturated with oxygen when exposed to H2O/HF solutions at low hydrogen chemical potential, μH, and that Sc-based MXenes can also be fluorinated in solutions of higherμH. After investigating the thermodynamic stability of all 54 MXene compounds Mn+1XnO2 (M = Sc, Ti, V, Cr, Zr, Nb, Mo, Hf, Ta; X = C, N; n = 1, 2, 3), 38 are predicted to have formation energies below 200 meV/atom. Of these, six are predicted to have formation energies below 100 meV/atom, only one of which has been synthesized. Sc-based MXenes are found to be highly stable when their surfaces are terminated with F, which also results in the easiest exfoliation to produce freestanding single layers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3550-3556
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry C
Issue number6
StatePublished - Feb 18 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Energy(all)
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films


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