Nanoscale Characterization of Mock Explosive Materials Using Advanced Atomic Force Microscopy Methods

Arvind Raman, Purdue University, Birck Nanotechnology Center

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Most explosives are micro- and nanoscale composite material systems consisting of energetic crystals, amorphous particles, binders, and additives whose response to mechanical, thermal, or electromagnetic insults is often controlled by submicrometer-scale heterogeneities and interfaces. Several advanced dynamic atomic force microscopy (AFM) techniques, including phase imaging, force volume mode, and Kelvin probe force microscopy with resonance enhancement for dielectric property mapping, have been used to map the local physical properties of mock explosive materials systems, allowing the identification of submicrometer heterogeneities in electrical and mechanical properties that could lead to the formation of hotspots under electromagnetic or mechanical stimuli. The physical interpretation of the property maps and the methods of image formation are presented. Possible interpretations of the results and future applications to energetic material systems are also discussed.


Nanoscience and Nanotechnology