Characterization of the Morphology of RDX Particles Formed by Laser Ablation

Report No. ARL-TR-5932
Authors: Jennifer L. Gottfried; Frank C. De Lucia Jr.; Stephanie M. Piraino
Date/Pages: February 2012; 28 pages
Abstract: The morphology of cyclotrimethylenetrinitramine (RDX) particles produced by laser ablation has been characterized using scanning electron microscopy and Scanning Mobility Particle Sizer analyses. The effects of laser pulse energy, wavelength, and duration have been studied. Higher laser pulse energies resulted in higher concentrations of ablated RDX particles. Ultraviolet laser radiation is absorbed by RDX and results in the formation of agglomerated particles. Nano-RDX (mean particle size = 64 nm) was formed via near-infrared, nanosecond-pulsed laser ablation. Femtosecond laser ablation provides several advantages over nanosecond lasers because of the extremely high peak power and ultrashort time scale, but the increased experimental complexity may not be justified for this application.
Distribution: Approved for public release
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Last Update / Reviewed: February 1, 2012