Understanding and tuning the reactivity of nano-energetic materials

A. Rai, L. Zhou, A. Prakash, A. McCormick, M. R. Zachariah

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

8 Scopus citations


Mixtures of fuel and oxidizers with particle sizes in the nanometer range have been widely used for energy intensive applications like propellants and explosives. Nano- Al is invariably used as fuel, while a host of metal oxide nanoparticles are used as oxidizers. This article aims at understanding and tuning the reactivity of these nano-energetic materials. The first part of this article discusses the oxidative reactivity of aluminum nanoparticles as measured experimentally using single-particle mass-spectrometer (SPMS) and microscopy and then modeled. Experimental evidence suggests that outward diffusion of aluminum is an important phenomenon in the oxidation of aluminum nanoparticle. Also melting of the aluminum core is necessary for the reaction to lake place vigorously. In the second part of the paper we discuss the formation of novel oxidizers, A super-reactive formulation of Al/KMnO4 has been developed which is shown to be orders of magnitude more reactive than the traditional formulations of Al/Fe2O3, Al/MoO3 and Al/CuO. We demonstrate the formation of novel composite oxidizers to tune the reactivity of the Al/Metal oxide system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationMultifunctional Energetic Materials
Number of pages12
StatePublished - Jun 2 2006
Event2005 Materials Research Society Fall Meeting - Boston, MA, United States
Duration: Nov 28 2005Dec 2 2005

Publication series

NameMaterials Research Society Symposium Proceedings
ISSN (Print)0272-9172


Other2005 Materials Research Society Fall Meeting
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityBoston, MA


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