An MXene-based membrane for molecular separation
Two-dimensional (2D) materials with a nanoscale thickness are promising candidates for advanced molecular separations. MXenes are cutting-edge 2D materials, which have been extensively explored and applied in high performance molecular separations. Due to their remarkable flexibility, hydrophilic surface, high mechanical strength, and good electrical conductivity, the MXene family of materials has unique advantages in a wide range of membrane-based separation processes, such as gas separation, pervaporation, desalination, and solvent/water separation. In this review, recent advances in the design of MXene-based membranes and their applications in molecular separations are highlighted. The current synthetic strategies and structures of MXenes are described; based on these, the key parameters that affect the MXene properties are identified. Then, the fabrication methods of MXene-based membranes and their ground-breaking separation applications are reviewed. Despite the remaining challenges, the vigorous development of MXene materials offers a new avenue for the design of novel membranes for precise and effective separation.