Development of Novel Polynitrogen-based High–performance Solid Propellants

Period of Performance: 09/01/2008 - 05/01/2009


Phase 1 STTR

Recipient Firm

CFD Research Corp.
701 McMillian Way NW Suite D
Huntsville, AL 35806
Principal Investigator
Firm POC

Research Institution

University of Idaho
PO Box 443020
Moscow, ID 83844
Institution POC


In this STTR program, CFDRC, in collaboration with the University of Idaho, proposes to develop some novel high-performance polynitrogen energetic materials for propellant applications. The proposed materials contain amine substituted tetrazole-based heterocyclic cations. In order to enhance the energy content and stability further, they are combined with energetic anions. These anions will have the flexibility to control oxygen balance. These energetic compounds will overcome the severe drawbacks (such as low density, extreme shock and impact sensitivity, very low oxygen balance and likely hydrolytic instability) associated with polyazide compounds. The proposed salts will be thoroughly investigated for their properties via well-established high-fidelity molecular and thermodynamic modeling prior to their synthesis. Such modeling-guided design, as opposed to conventional experiment only procedure, will reduce the time and cost of development, and risk of failure. The two most promising compounds, as suggested via modeling, will be synthesized and characterized for crystal structures, densities, melting points, thermal stabilities and impact sensitivities. In Phase II, these compounds will be formulated, and undergo a rigorous set of tests, such as burn rate, compatibility, mechanical strength, to evaluate their performance in practical situations. Finally the most promising compound will be scaled up for synthesis and test fired to measure thrust.