Structural Chemistry

, Volume 30, Issue 1, pp 201–211 | Cite as

Laser ionization of solid RDX: a density functional theory study

  • F. A. AkinEmail author
  • Güven Kıyak


Structural changes induced via ionization in an RDX lattice have been studied by using optimized [(RDX)2]0 conformers comprising eight combinations of four RDX isomers using DFT. Structures, dissociation enthalpy, and free energies of the resulting [(RDX)2]·+ clusters are calculated. The gas-phase and medium polarizable continuum model (PCM) calculations of the most stable [(RDX)2]·+ cluster produced similar structural results. Electron removal caused 75% of the [(RDX)2]·+ conformers to be unstable in their neutral isomeric composition and orientation. Charge distributions and structural factors indicate that [(RDX)2]·+ are in the general form RDX·+·RDX. Ionization causes charge polarization, hydrogen transfer, N-N dissociation, and assisted HONO formation in solid RDX. The assisted HONO formation occurs via and suggests hydrogen mobility within [(RDX)2]·+, causing a stabilization by a minimum of 114 kJ/mol more than the other conformers. The RDX conformational identity is a determining factor in the emerging dissociation pathways. The energy costs of ion-neutral dissociation are comparable to the hydrogen transfer and NO2 loss processes. Ionization of the RDX surface is expected to produce NO2 and HONO precursors of the NO+ ion observed previously.


RDX Dimer Cation Mass spectrometry DFT Crystal 



The author would also like to thank Dr. Tereza Varnalı for helpful discussions.

Funding information

This research has been supported by The Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TUBITAK) (110T485).

Supplementary material

11224_2018_1191_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (1.4 mb)
ESM 1 (PDF 1410 kb)


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of ChemistryBoğaziçi UniversityIstanbulTurkey

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