The Chemistry of RDX and HMX Cluster Ions,
NAVAL RESEARCH LAB WASHINGTON DC
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The heterocyclic nitramines, hexahydro-1,3,5-trinitro-1,3,5-triazine RDX and octahydro-1,3,5,7-tetranitro-1,3,5,7-tetrazocine HMX, have been found to form cluster ions of the general formula CH2NNO2nH where n1,2,3,...,15 for RDX and n1,2,3,...,56 for HMX. Two significant features of the resultant cluster ion distributions for RDX and HMX are 1 the observation of magic numbers and 2 their mutual uniqueness. We attribute these features to the molecular structure and to the intermolecular interactions inherent to the condensed phase of the precursors RDX and HMX. The unicluster dissociation spectra of protonated RDX and HMX cluster ions reveal that these clusters may be the primary source of N2O in the vapor phase decomposition of RDX and HMX.