A comment on my question Are all stable 2D Xenes and binaries buckled? says:

Well, if even in paper title there was explanation what's X then your clarity of title is dubious...

the comment is referring to the title of the fourth paper I linked to in this comment:

  1. Nature Materials: Buckled two-dimensional Xene sheets
  2. Physics Letters A: Can freestanding Xene monolayers behave as excitonic insulators?
  3. Physical Review B. High-temperature tunable superfluidity of polaritons in Xene monolayers in an optical microcavity
  4. Journal of Materials Chemistry C: Designing 3D topological insulators by 2D-Xene (X = Ge, Sn) sheet functionalization in GaGeTe-type structures

Of course the "(X = Ge, Sn)" in the title is to specify which Xenes are covered by the paper, not to define Xene.

My questions are:

  1. Is the clarity of my question's title really "dubious"?
  2. Is "dubious" even a good adjective to use in cases like this? To me it seems only to cast shade or doubt in an opinionated yet vague, unsupported way.


The commenter left a few comments suggesting I didn't know what I was talking about and used the wrong words, and then proceeded to edit the title, seemingly without actually checking to see if the terminology was accepted usage or not, probably lead to a few quick close votes. I grabbed the four papers from a quick search result to demonstrate that these are standard usages, yet somehow there are still further comments that my "clarity of title is dubious..."

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    $\begingroup$ I don't think "dubious" is an appropriate word, but agree with andselisk that some clarification would have been useful (and am glad to see your edit!). $\endgroup$ Commented Nov 9, 2019 at 20:26
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    $\begingroup$ @orthocresol thanks for your comment. When the user started with ""X"enes? You need a better word. Also you didn't get the comment right. Graphene isn't "buckled"" it wasn't helpful. A quick check would have shown that Xene is indeed a real term and graphene is indeed buckled. I think that "I'm not familliar with... could you clarify..." type comments would have been more productive than "I don't think you know what you're talking about..." $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Commented Nov 9, 2019 at 23:14

1 Answer 1


I had to look the term "Xene" up to understand what exactly the question was about. It appears to be introduced fairly recently (around 2015–2016) and first textbooks including this term were published in 2019 (e.g. 1, 2).

The things get more confusing:

  • "X" is usually used to denote group 17 elements (halogens), and here it's used for the materials made of group 14 elements.
  • It might as well refer to $\ce{XeNe}$ molecules.
  • "XENES" is sometimes used as an acronym for x-ray emission near edge structure.

I don't know if it's really “dubious”, but it is definitely a new and not ubiquitously used term that everybody is acquainted with. A commentator could probably use a better adjective, but I've heard worse from professors at a university. Probably develop a thicker skin if it sounds offensive to you.

In my opinion, adding a brief paragraph composed of a sentence or two about what Xenes are would save readers' time and eliminate ambiguity.

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    $\begingroup$ Thanks for the advice! I've edited and added a short quote with a definition that seems to do the job. $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Commented Nov 8, 2019 at 9:14
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    $\begingroup$ @andselisk Sorry for inconvenience but I'm a bit unknown to the concept of the group 19 elements in the periodic table can you give some links to read about such a periodic table (I'm a high schooler and as far as as I know halogens belong to group 17). $\endgroup$
    – user84548
    Commented Nov 14, 2019 at 7:05
  • $\begingroup$ @Ramanujan_π My bad, I made a typo (probably I was thinking of fluorine, element 9). You are absolutely correct, halogens belong to group 17 and group 19 is, of course, a nonsense. Thank you for correction! $\endgroup$
    – andselisk Mod
    Commented Nov 14, 2019 at 7:17

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