The optical properties for crystalline films of the highly energetic material (HEM) hexahydro-1,3,5-trinitro-s-triazine, which is also known as RDX, deposited on gold (Au) and stainless steel (SS) substrates are presented. RDX has two important stable conformational polymorphs at room temperature: α-RDX and β-RDX. The optical properties obtained in the present work correspond to thin film samples of predominantly β-RDX polymorph. The infrared spectroscopic intensities measured showed significant differences in the β-RDX crystalline films deposited on the two substrates with respect to the calculated real part of refractive index. The β-RDX/Au crystalline films have a high dynamic response, which is characterized by the asymmetric stretching mode of the axial nitro groups, whereas for the β-RDX/SS crystalline films, the dynamic response was mediated by the –N-NO2 symmetric stretch mode. This result provides an idea of how the electric field vector propagates through the β-RDX crystalline films deposited on the two substrates.
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