Nanostructured polymeric nitrogen high performance energetic material

Period of Performance: 09/24/2010 - 09/24/2012

$728K

Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

CarboMet LLC
18 Erskine Drive
Morristown, NJ 07960
Principal Investigator

Abstract

During Phase I CarboMet demonstrated the small scale synthesis of insensitive nitrogen clusters and a polymeric-nitrogen network bonded to the sidewalls of carbon nanotubes using three different synthetic approaches. Such a nitrogen polymer will be a highly attractive material for a range of defense and civilian applications. Polymeric-nitrogen will provide high-energy density due to the difference between single nitrogen bonds in the polymer and triple bonds in molecular nitrogen. The objective of the proposed Phase II effort will be to optimize and scale-up by modeling and experiments the down-selected synthetic approach, which will involve a combination of electrochemical and plasma-polymerization processes demonstrated in Phase I. The plasma process will use nitrogen mixed with argon as precursor and carbon nanotube sheets electrochemically functionalized with polymeric-nitrogen clusters as substrates. Plasma polymerization and electrochemical deposition are widely used in industry and are therefore expected to be scalable and cost-effective. Polymeric-nitrogen stabilized on carbon nanotubes will have the potential for extensive military applications as an insensitive energetic that is extremely stable until initiated at temperatures above 300oC as initially demonstrated by differential thermal calorimetry. Commercial entities would find use for the polymer as a precursor for producing highly bioavailable drugs and for nitrogen-cluster doped carbon nanotubes as an efficient fuel cell catalyst/support system.