The research in MAX phases is mainly concentrated on the investigation of carbides rather than nitrides (currently >150 carbides and only <15 nitrides) that are predominantly synthesized by conventional solid-state techniques. This is not surprising since the preparation of nitrides and carbonitrides is more demanding due to the high stability and low diffusion rate of nitrogen-containing compounds. This leads to several drawbacks concerning potential variations in the chemical composition of the MAX phases as well as control of morphology, the two aspects that directly affect the resulting materials properties. Here, we report how alternative solid-state hybrid techniques solve these limitations by combining conventional techniques with nonconventional precursor synthesis methods, such as the "urea-glass"sol-gel or liquid ammonia method. We demonstrate the synthesis and morphology control within the V-Ga-C-N system by preparing the MAX phase carbide and nitride-the latter in the form of bulkier and more defined smaller particle structures-as well as a hitherto unknown carbonitride V2GaC1-xNx MAX phase. This shows the versatility of hybrid methods starting, for example, from wet chemically obtained precursors that already contain all of the ingredients needed for carbonitride formation. All products are characterized in detail by X-ray powder diffraction, electron microscopy, and electron and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopies to confirm their structure and morphology and to detect subtle differences between the different chemical compositions.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
- Inorganic Chemistry