Detailed Analysis of the Synthesis and Structure of MAX Phase (Mo0.75V0.25)5AlC4 and Its MXene Sibling (Mo0.75V0.25)5C4

Rose M. Snyder, Mikkel Juelsholt, Curran Kalha, Jason Holm, Elisabeth Mansfield, Tien Lin Lee, Pardeep K. Thakur, Aysha A. Riaz, Benjamin Moss, Anna Regoutz, Christina S. Birkel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


MAX phases with the general formula Mn+1AXn are layered carbides, nitrides, and carbonitrides with varying stacking sequence of layers of M6X octahedra and the A element depending on n. While “211” MAXphases (n = 1) are very common, MAX phases with higher n, especially n ≥ 3, have hardly been prepared. This work addresses open questions regarding the synthesis conditions, structure, and chemical composition of the “514” MAX phase. In contrast to literature reports, no oxide is needed to form the MAX phase, yet multiple heating steps at 1,600 °C are required. Using high-resolution X-ray diffraction, the structure of (Mo1-xVx)5AlC4 is thoroughly investigated, and Rietveld refinement suggests P-6c2 as the most fitting space group. SEM/EDS and XPS show that the chemical composition of the MAX phase is (Mo0.75V0.25)5AlC4. It was also exfoliated into its MXene sibling (Mo0.75V0.25)5C4 using two different techniques (using HF and an HF/HCl mixture) that lead to different surface terminations as shown by XPS/HAXPES measurements. Initial investigations of the electrocatalytic properties of both MXene versions show that, depending on the etchant, (Mo0.75V0.25)5C4 can reduce hydrogen at 10 mA cm-2 with an overpotential of 166 mV (HF only) or 425 mV (HF/HCl) after cycling the samples, which makes them a potential candidate as an HER catalyst.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)12693-12705
Number of pages13
JournalACS nano
Issue number13
StatePublished - Jul 11 2023


  • (MoV)AlC
  • (MoV)C
  • MAX phase
  • MXene
  • STEM-in-SEM
  • electrocatalysis
  • synchrotron XRD

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science
  • General Engineering
  • General Physics and Astronomy


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