What are Mxenes?

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Overview:

Researchers recently reported on the potential of using MXene coatings that can guide microwaves in space and lighten satellite payloads.

About Mxenes

  • Mxenes, first discovered in 2011, are ceramics that comprise one of the largest families of two-dimensional (2D) materials.
  • Unlike most 2D ceramics, MXenes have inherently good conductivity and excellent volumetric capacitance because they are molecular sheets made from the carbides and nitrides of transition metals like titanium.
  • They are made from a bulk crystal called MAX. 
  • They have the general formula of Mn+1XnTx, where M is an early transition metal, X is carbon and/or nitrogen, and T is a functional group on the surface of an MXene (typically O, OH, and F).
  • Among various types of MXenes, titanium carbide (Ti3C2Tx) is the most widely used. 
  • Some potential applications of MXenes include energy storage (such as lithium-ion batteries and supercapacitors) due to their high conductivity and large surface area, electromagnetic interference shielding, catalysis, sensors, and water purification, among others.

What are Transition Metals?

  • A transition metal is any of various chemical elements that have valence electrons—i.e., electrons that can participate in the formation of chemical bonds—in two shells instead of only one.
  • They occupy the middle portions of the long periods of the periodic table of elements between the groups on the left-hand side and the groups on the right.
  • Compared to other metals, transition metals have high melting points and densities, and they (and their compounds) can act as catalysts.
  • They are good conductors of heat and electricity. 
  • Many transition metals are technologically important, including titanium, iron, nickel, and copper. 
  • The most abundant transition metal in Earth's solid crust is iron.

Q1) What is electromagnetic interference (EMI) shielding?

Electromagnetic interference (EMI) is the coupling of signals from one system to another. EMI shielding is a technique of creating a barrier that prevents leakage of strong electromagnetic fields that can interfere with sensitive devices and signals. They can be installed to isolate the electromagnetic field source or as an enclosure of the device that needs protection.

Source: MXene-coated devices can guide microwaves in space and lighten the payload