R. V. Reeves, S. F. Son, J. White, A. S. Mukasyan, E. M. Dufrensene and K. Fezzaa, “Microstructural Transformations and Kinetics of High-Temperature Heterogeneous Gasless Reactions by High-Speed X-ray Phase-Contrast Imaging,” Physical Review B, Vol.80, iss.22, p. 224103, 2009. dx.doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevB.80.224103
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Heterogeneous gasless reactive systems, including high-energy density metal-nonmetal compositions, have seen increasing study due to their various applications. However, owing to their high reaction temperature, short reaction time, and small scale of heterogeneity, investigation of their reaction mechanisms and kinetics is very difficult. In this study, microstructural changes and the kinetics of product layer growth in the W-Si system was investigated using a high-speed x-ray phase-contrast imaging technique. Using the Advanced Photon Source of Argonne National Laboratory, this method allowed direct imaging of irreversible reactions in the W-Si reactive system at frame rates up to 36 000 frames per second with 4-microsecond exposure and spatial resolution of 1micrometerser. Details of the Si melt and reactions between W and Si, that are unable to be viewed with visible-light imaging, were revealed. These include processes such as the initiation of nucleated melting and other physical phenomena that provide insight into the mixing of reactants and subsequent reaction. Through the use of this imaging technique and future optimization in the imaging process, a model for accurately identifying kinetics of chemical reactions, both spatially and temporally, is also proposed.