Ultrafast shock-induced orientation of polycrystalline films: Applications to high explosives

Jens Franken, Selezion A. Hambir, Dana D. Dlott

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Tiny laser-driven shock waves of ∼5 GPa pressure (nanoshocks) are used to study fast mechanical processes occurring in a thin layer of polycrystalline insensitive energetic material, (3-nitro-1,2,4-triazol-5-one) (NTO). Ultrafast coherent Raman spectroscopy of shocked NTO shows the existence of three distinct mechanical processes. Very fast (∼600 ps) changes in intensity and the appearance of new transitions are associated with the uniaxial nature of compression by the shock front. Frequency shifting and broadening processes which track the ∼2 ns duration nanoshock are associated with transient changes in density and temperature. A novel slower process (5-10 ns) starts as the shock begins to unload, and continues for several nanoseconds after the shock is over, resulting in changes of widths and intensities of several vibrational transitions. By comparing ultrafast spectra to static Raman spectra of single NTO crystals in various orientations, it is concluded that this process involves shock-induced partial orientation of the crystals in the NTO layer. The NTO crystals are oriented faster than the time scale for initiating chemical reactions. The sensitivity of explosive crystals to shock initiation may depend dramatically on the orientation of the crystal relative to the direction of shock propagation, so the implications of fast shock-induced orientation for energetic materials initiation are discussed briefly.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2068-2074
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Applied Physics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Feb 15 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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