Extemporaneous Mechanochemistry: Shock-Wave-Induced Ultrafast Chemical Reactions Due to Intramolecular Strain Energy

BW Hamilton and MP Kroonblawd and A Strachan, JOURNAL OF PHYSICAL CHEMISTRY LETTERS, 13, 6657-6663 (2022).

DOI: 10.1021/acs.jpclett.2c01798

Regions of energy localization referred to as hotspots are known to govern shock initiation and the run-to-detonation in energetic materials. Mounting computational evidence points to accelerated chemistry in hotspots from large intramolecular strains induced via the interactions between the shock wave and microstructure. However, definite evidence mapping intramolecular strain to accelerated or altered chemical reactions has so far been elusive. From a large-scale reactive molecular dynamics simulation of the energetic material 1,3,5-triamino-2,4,6-trinitrobenzene, we map decomposition kinetics to molecular temperature and intramolecular strain energy prior to reaction. Both temperature and intramolecular strain are shown to accelerate chemical kinetics. A detailed analysis of the atomistic trajectory shows that intramolecular strain can induce a mechanochemical alteration of decomposition mechanisms. The results in this paper could inform continuum-level chemistry models to account for a wide range of mechanochemical effects.

Return to Publications page