Titanium Carbide MXene Nanostructures as Catalysts and Cocatalysts for Photocatalytic Fuel Production: A Review

Muhammad Tahir, Areen Sherryna, Rehan Mansoor, Azmat Ali Khan, Sehar Tasleem, Beenish Tahir

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

48 Citations (Scopus)


Efficient nanomaterials are in high demand in photocatalytic applications to maximize solar energy conversion to renewable fuels. There is growing research on the use of metals as cocatalysts to promote photocatalyst efficiency, but they are expensive. Recently, titanium carbide (Ti3C2Tx) MXenes as layered materials have attracted attention to investigate energy conversion applications. The distinguishing characteristics of Ti3C2Tx are higher specific surface area, tunable terminal functional groups (−OH, −O, and −F), exposed metallic active sites, and excellent electrical conductivity. MXenes can be combined with other semiconductors as cocatalysts to improve charge carrier separation. This review discusses various synthesis routes to fabricate Ti3C2Tx MXenes as single materials, their surface functionalization, and as cocatalysts to construct a heterojunction for photocatalytic CO2 conversion and H2 production. The different synthesis approaches, such as the HF, halogen, alkali, molten salt, and electrochemical etching routes, to regulate structure, morphology, and efficiency are systematically described. Moreover, synthesis of various morphologies of Ti3C2Tx MXenes in terms of dimensions, sizes, and their effect on the performance of energy conversion reactions are systematically discussed. Furthermore, various synthesis routes with regard to fabrication of Ti3C2Tx MXene-based nanocomposites for stimulating photocatalytic efficiency with solar energy is elaborated on. The critical analysis and discussion is included on select suitable structures and morphologies of MXenes as cocatalysts and as a support to stimulate the energy harvesting efficiency. Finally, a discussion related to challenges and further developments for exploring pathways in the contexts of synthesis and production of promising renewable fuels is presented.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)18-54
Number of pages37
JournalACS Applied Nano Materials
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 28 2022


  • CO reduction
  • energy efficient materials
  • hydrogen production
  • morphological developments
  • synthesis methods
  • titanium carbide MXene cocatalysts

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science


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