Enhanced energy release from homogeneous carbon nanotube-energetic material composites

Jo Eun Um, Taehan Yeo, Wonjoon Choi, Joo Seung Chae, Hyoun Soo Kim, Woo Jae Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


In this study, vertically aligned carbon nanotubes with structures that can maximize energy transfer characteristics and activation with energetic materials were synthesized and energetic materials were effectively bound to the surface of the carbon nanotube structures to manufacture carbon nanotube-energetic material composites. The composites demonstrated drastically improved explosive reaction speeds compared with the energetic materials alone by using the high thermal conductivity of carbon nanotubes. To this end, energetic materials, such as 4-nitrobenzenediazonium, 4-nitroaniline, 2,4-dinitroaniline, and RDX (cyclotrimethylenetrinitramine) with nitro compounds having explosive explosophores were used and the exothermic reaction characteristics of the composites were analyzed using a thermogravimetric analysis-differential scanning calorimetry analyzer and an ultra-high-speed camera. When energetic materials were loaded on carbon nanotubes, the exothermic reaction speeds of all energetic materials increased by approximately 100 times compared with those of the energetic materials alone, regardless of the type of energetic materials, because of the high thermal conductivity of carbon nanotubes. The minimum energetic material loading existed at which exothermic reaction speeds rapidly increased. In addition, the energetic material combustion reactions of carbon nanotube-energetic material composites occurred anisotropically along the axis of the carbon nanotubes. The results of the present study can be used in the development of new nanostructure-based explosive composites, propellants, and thermoelectrics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)164-170
Number of pages7
JournalScience of Advanced Materials
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2016

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the Next-Generation Converged Energy Material Research Center (CEMRC), and the Human Resources Development program (no. 20124030200010) of the Korea Institute of Energy Technology Evaluation and Planning (KETEP) grant funded by the Korea government Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 by American Scientific Publishers.


  • Carbon nanotube
  • Energetic materials
  • Enhanced energy release
  • Exothermic reaction speed
  • High thermal conductivity
  • Nanostructured explosive composites


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