Ignition studies of Al-Fe203 energetic nanocomposites
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Energetic nanocomposites are materials consisting of both fuel and oxidizer elements with at least one constituent in the nanometer size range. When ignited they react exothermically and release large amounts of energy, much larger than that compared with bulk materials. In this work, a new kind of energetic nanocomposite, a nanowire array-based thin film is reported. The nanocomposite consists of oxidizer (or fuel) nanowires embedded in a thin fuel (or oxidizer) film. Such nanocomposites are reported for the first time. In this thesis, energetic nanocomposites of the type Al-Fe2O3 are prepared. Fe203 is in the form of nanowire arrays prepared using nanoporous alumina membranes. AI film is in the form of a thin film prepared by vacuum deposition. Nanowires with two different dimensions are studied, namely l0nm and 50nm. Thickness of the Al film is 50nm. The wires are either embedded perpendicularly (stmctured nanocomposite) in the Al film or randomly distributed (random nanocomposite) on the Al film. All of these samples are found to demonstrate ignition. This thesis describes the complete fabrication process for the nanocomposites. Demonstration of ignition in these nanocomposites is described. Experimental procedure to measure the ignition properties is discussed and an estimate of the energy released is presented.