Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Detonation of Meta-stable Clusters
- Author(s): Kuhl, Allen L
- et al.
We consider the energy accumulation in meta-stable clusters. This energy can be much larger than the typical chemical bond energy (~;;1 ev/atom). For example, polymeric nitrogen can accumulate 4 ev/atom in the N8 (fcc) structure, while helium can accumulate 9 ev/atom in the excited triplet state He2* . They release their energy by cluster fission: N8 -> 4N2 and He2* -> 2He. We study the locus of states in thermodynamic state space for the detonation of such meta-stable clusters. In particular, the equilibrium isentrope, starting at the Chapman-Jouguet state, and expanding down to 1 atmosphere was calculated with the Cheetah code. Large detonation pressures (3 and 16 Mbar), temperatures (12 and 34 kilo-K) and velocities (20 and 43 km/s) are a consequence of the large heats of detonation (6.6 and 50 kilo-cal/g) for nitrogen and helium clusters respectively. If such meta-stable clusters could be synthesized, they offer the potential for large increases in the energy density of materials.