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photo of James Smith
  • James Smith
  • Beaupre 425C
  • Professor of Chemistry
  • (401) 874-2348
  • Ph.D. University of British Columbia

Research Interests: Analytical/Physical, Energetic Materials & Explosives

The chemistry of thermal decomposition of highly energetic materials is of primary interest to our research team. These materials are characterized by the extremely rapid release of heat and gas. Among the materials we study are nitramines, nitrate esters, peroxides and energetic salts. Research projects involve identification of decomposition products, analytical chemistry method development, thermodynamic studies and kinetics studies of energetic materials in order to elucidate decomposition mechanisms and evaluate thermal stabilities. Development of quantitative analytical methods is a routine part of our work. We accomplish our objectives using a variety of chemical instruments including gas and liquid chromatrographs, mass spectrometers, NMR and microcalorimeters.