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Investigation of the Decomposition of Energetics Materials

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Technical Report,01 May 2014,30 Apr 2018

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University of Hawaii - Research Services Honolulu United States

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The main objectives of our project is to experimentally understand the hitherto poorly characterized underlying reaction mechanisms involved in the explosive decomposition of model compounds of energetic materials such as of nitrohydrocarbons in the condensed phase. This is aimed to change our understanding of their long-term stability and explosion efficiency and may also lead to the development of novel insensitive energetic materials. We trigger the decomposition of the model compounds by ionizing radiation in form of energetic electrons and vacuum ultraviolet VUV photons with energies below the ionization energy of the target molecules in a contamination free ultra high vacuum setup at low temperatures. The decomposition processes are monitored on line and in situ via an array of complementary spectroscopic tools FTIR, Ra, UVVIS and most recently electron paramagnetic resonance EPR. Based on the kinetic fits of the temporal evolution of newly formed species along with data from the decomposition of partially deuterated reactants, we extract general concepts on the reaction mechanisms, products, intermediates, and branching ratios. Molecules subliming during the warm up phase are photoionized analyzed exploiting tunable VUV light and then mass analyzed in a reflectron time of flight mass spectrometer ReTOF-PI thus gaining a systematic understanding of the decomposition products.

Subject Categories:

  • Ammunition and Explosives

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