Fabrication, Energetic and Combustion Properties of Energetic Microchip Based on In Situ Synthesized Energetic Coordination Polymer and Aluminum

Project: Research

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Energetic materials including explosives, pyrotechnics, and propellants are widely used in mining, deconstruction, automobile airbags, fireworks, ordnance, and space technology. Integrating energetic materials with microelectromechanical system (MEMS) to achieve miniaturized integrated smart energetic microchips is promising. The potential applications include actuation in lab-on-a-chip devices, ignition in automobile airbags, propulsion and attitude control of micro/nano satellites, and miniaturized electro-explosive devices.However, the application of energetic materials in MEMS devices has confronted two important obstacles. The first is related to the integration technique. Most energetic materials are originally in powder form, which is subjected to post processing such as compaction and casting before the practical use. The traditional preparation technology is not suitable for integration with MEMS to realize energetic microchips. The second is about the inherent energetic characteristics of energetic materials. Presently, most energetic materials integrated with MEMS are nanothermite because of their high energy density. Nevertheless, the low gas generation of nanothermite due to the lack of gas elements (e.g., C, H, and N) limits their application in pneumatic devices, propulsion systems, and actuation in lab-on-a-chips.Energetic coordination polymers (ECPs) can provide a solution to the aforementioned obstacles. ECPs, which are mainly constructed from energetic nitrogen-rich organic ligands and metal centers, have recently attracted great attention as highly energetic materials. They possess abundant gas elements from organic ligands, which allow them to generate large amounts of gas during thermal decomposition, producing high peak pressures. Novel energetic materials with high energy density, high reactivity, and especially high pressure output can be obtained by combining ECPs with aluminum.In this project, we propose novel MEMS compatible processes to in situ synthesize nanostructured ECPs/Al energetic composites onto microheaters to realize functional energetic microchips. Cu(OH)₂ nanorods grown on the microheater will be used as a sacrificial template to supply copper ions coordinated with a nitrogen-rich energetic ligand. These coordination compounds can polymerize at appropriate temperature and inherit the morphology of Cu(OH)₂ nanorods to form nanostructured ECPs. Nano-Al will be further integrated with these nanostructured ECPs to achieve high performance ECPs/Al energetic composites on the microheater to obtain the energetic microchips. The exothermic properties, combustion/explosion, and pressure output of the ECPs/Al energetic composites off and on the energetic microchips will be studied comprehensively. Special attention will be given to the combustion/explosion behavior at micro scale.This project will provide not only new nanostructured high performance energetic materials, but also controllable compatible technology for integrating energetic materials with MEMS to achieve energetic microchips. The research output can provide a theoretical basis for the research and design of energetic microchips in the scientific community as well as a scientific basis for the application of energetic microchips. 


Project number9043005
Grant typeGRF
Effective start/end date1/01/21 → …