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Development of high-energy-density materials


The performance of an energetic compound is mainly decided by parameters such as density, oxygen balance, heat of formation, and stability. Among these properties, density is the most important factor because it determines the detonation pressure and velocity. One of the trends in the development of high-energy-density materials (HEDMs) involves the study of energetic materials with high nitrogen levels. A compound with high nitrogen content can obtain substantial energy from the heat of formation rather than from the intramolecular oxidation of carbon skeleton to release energy in the form of a nitro group or nitrate ester. In addition to excellent performance, the newly developed energetic materials should also possess high working power and insensitivity toward external influences for ensuring the safety of charge and service, high energy release rate, long service life, good compatibility, excellent biological performance, low toxicity, safe battlefield environment, and low moisture absorption, which meet the requirements of military and civilian use. This review summarizes the research progress on global HEDMs. TNAZ, FOX-7, octanitrocubanane, TAM, TKX-50, and N5 were believed to show promise in achieving application goals. The prospective vision of HEDMs containing ions, total nitrogen, metal hydrogen, and nuclear energetic isomers, overcoming technical barriers, synthesis of all-nitrogen materials, theoretical studies on desorption/adsorption system, and challenging technical problems that need to be solved for the safety of synthetic nitrogen compounds were discussed to further elucidate the effect of this subject.

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Correspondence to JiPing Liu.

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Liu, J., Liu, L. & Liu, X. Development of high-energy-density materials. Sci. China Technol. Sci. 63, 195–213 (2020).

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  • total nitrogen
  • high-energy-density material
  • energetic ion salt
  • metal hydrogen
  • nuclear energetic isomer