Modeling the stability and growth of metalloid clusters for energetic materials
Hooper, Joseph P.
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Metalloid clusters, defined as cluster systems with more metal/metal than metal/organic bonds, are currently under study as energetic materials that may retain the high energy density of bulk metals but oﬀer substantially faster reaction kinetics. Considerable synthesis challenges remain, but these systems may in principle allow low-valence metals to oxidize within the reaction zone of a detonation. Here we present density functional theory and ab initio molecular dynamics simulations of ligated aluminum clusters, a prototypical metalloid system that can be reliably synthesized. Thermal decomposition and oxidation pathways are explored to gain a general understanding of how these unusual systems behave at elevated temperatures. The initial stages of cluster oxidation observed in molecular dynamics and metadynamics simulations are in good agreement with recent experimental gas-phase oxidation studies.
The article of record as published may be found at http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.4971520
RightsThis publication is a work of the U.S. Government as defined in Title 17, United States Code, Section 101. Copyright protection is not available for this work in the United States.