Energetic Surface Modification of Aluminum Nanoparticles

Period of Performance: 06/15/2012 - 12/15/2012


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

TDA Research, Inc.
12345 W. 52nd Ave. Array
Wheat Ridge, CO 80033
Principal Investigator


Due to its favorable combustion properties, aluminum is the material of choice in metalized nanoparticle formulations for energetic materials; however, the full potential of aluminum nanoparticles has not been realized due to the presence of a nascent oxide layer (Al2O3) that surrounds the nanoparticles and retards their combustion. As a result, the military is looking for novel surface modification techniques that make use of the oxide layer to make the Al-nanoparticles more reactive. TDA Research, Inc. (TDA) proposes to develop surface modification chemistry that functionalizes the surfaces of oxide passivated Al-nanoparticles in order to enhance the reactivity of Al-nanoparticles, adding molecular energetic functionality so that the native Al0 can be more readily burned or reacted with oxidizers. Using nanoparticle chemistry previously developed at TDA, we will develop surface modification chemistry to put additional energetic materials on the unreactive oxide passivation layer, thereby enhancing the overall reactivity of the Al-nanoparticle.