- Inorganic Chemistry
- Energetic Materials
The chemistry of thermal decomposition of highly energetic materials is of primary interest to our research team. Among the materials studied are military explosives, such as nitramines, nitroarenes, and nitrate esters; improvised explosives, such as TATP and HMTD; energetic salts, such as ammonium nitrate and perchlorate; and reactive chemicals, such as peroxides, hydrazines, hydroxylamines. Research ranges from laboratory scale-studies determining reaction kinetics, identifying decomposition products, and developing analytical methods to modeling of results and full-scale detonation and cookoff testing. Laboratory scale work is primarily aimed at elucidating decomposition mechanisms and evaluating thermal stabilities. Full-scale tests are used to validate modeling and predictions based on small-scale work. Other research interests include development of better small-scale predictive tests, hazard analysis, explosive detection, and characterization and prevention of terrorist bombings. Our laboratory is equipped with a variety of chemical instrumentations: gas and liquid chromatrographs, mass spectrometers, NMR and microcalorimeters, and various commercial explosive detectors. The chemistry of thermal decomposition of highly energetic materials is of primary interest to our research team.