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A progress report on the MAB phases: atomically laminated, ternary transition metal borides

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journal contribution
posted on 26.07.2019 by Sankalp Kota, Maxim Sokol, Michel W. Barsoum

The MAB phases are atomically layered, ternary or quaternary transition metal (M) borides (TMBs), with the general formula (MB)2zAx(MB2)y (z = 1–2; x = 1–2; y = 0–2), whose structures are composed of a transition M-B sublattices interleaved by A-atom (A = Al,Zn) mono- or bilayers. Most of the MAB phases were discovered before the 1990s, but recent discoveries of intriguing magnetocaloric properties, mechanical deformation behaviour, catalytic properties, and high-temperature oxidation resistance has led to their ‘re-discovery’. Herein, MAB phase synthesis is reviewed and their magnetic, electronic, thermal, and mechanical properties are summarized. Because the M-B layers in the MAB phases structurally resemble their corresponding binaries of the same M:B stoichiometry, the effects of the A-layers on properties are discussed. Inconsistencies in the literature are critically assessed to gain insights on the processing-structure-property relations, suggest fruitful avenues for future research, and identify limitations for prospective applications.


We would like to acknowledge the U.S. National Science Foundation grant DMREF-1729335; Directorate for Engineering.