Abstract

The feasibility of exploiting plasma chemistry to study the chemical reactions between metallic nanoparticles and molecular explosives such as cyclotrimethylenetrinitramine (RDX) has been demonstrated. This method, based on laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy, involves the production of nanoparticles in a laser-induced plasma and the simultaneous observation of time-resolved atomic and molecular emission characteristic of the species involved in the intermediate chemical reactions of the nanoenergetic material in the plasma. Using this method, it has been confirmed that the presence of aluminum promotes the ejection process of carbon from the intermediate products of RDX. The time evolution of species formation, the effects of laser pulse energy, and the effects of trace metal content on the chemical reactions were also studied.

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