Probing the Reaction Dynamics of Thermite Nanolaminates

Garth C. Egan, Edward J. Mily, Jon Paul Maria, Michael R. Zachariah

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations


Al/CuO reactive nanolaminate ignition was studied using temperature jump (T-Jump) heating for rates greater than 105 K/s. Multilayer samples were sputter deposited onto thin platinum filaments in alternating layers of Al and CuO. The filaments were resistively heated in a time-of-flight mass spectrometer (ToF-MS), while ignition and reaction were observed with high-speed video. A total deposited thickness of 1800 nm was maintained for all samples, while the number of bilayers was varied from 1 to 12. Increasing this value decreased the diffusion distances and increased the amount of interfacial area across which reaction could occur, while keeping the overall energy of the system constant. From 2 to 6 bilayers, the ignition temperature decreased from 1250 to 670 K and the overall reactivity increased. Past 6 bilayers, the ignition temperature only decreased slightly and there was little impact on the overall reactivity. This behavior is consistent with a mass-transport model where the predominant diffusing species exhibits a low activation energy (50 kJ/mol). Ignition temperature, which depends upon bilayer thickness, is found to be a good predictor of flame speed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)20401-20408
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry C
Issue number35
StatePublished - Aug 13 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Energy(all)
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films


Dive into the research topics of 'Probing the Reaction Dynamics of Thermite Nanolaminates'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this