Mechanical stimuli in energetic materials initiate chemical reactions at shock fronts prior to detonation. Shock sensitivity measurements provide widely varying results, and quantum-mechanical calculations are unable to handle systems large enough to describe shock structure. Recent developments in reactive force-field molecular dynamics (ReaxFF-MD) combined with advances in parallel computing have paved the way to accurately simulate reaction pathways along with the structure of shock fronts. Our multimillion-atom ReaxFF-MD simulations of l,3,5-trinitro-l,3,5-triazine (RDX) reveal that detonation is preceded by a transition from a diffuse shock front with well-ordered molecular dipoles behind it to a disordered dipole distribution behind a sharp front.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Physics and Astronomy(all)