The development of new energetic materials is an emerging area of materials chemistry facilitated by a worldwide need to replace materials used at present, due to environmental considerations and safety requirements, while at the same time securing high performance. The development of such materials is complex, owing to the fact that several different and apparently mutually exclusive material properties have to be met in order for a new material to become widely accepted. In turn, understanding the basic principles of structure property relationships is highly desirable, as such an understanding would allow for a more rational design process to yield the desired properties. This article covers the trinitroethyl functionality and its potential for the design of next generation energetic materials, and describes relevant aspects of energetic materials chemistry including theoretical calculations capable of reliably predicting material properties. The synthesis, characterization, energetic properties, and structure property relationships of several new promising compounds displaying excellent material properties are reported with respect to different kinds of applications and compared to standard explosives currently used. Based on a review of trinitroethyl-containing compounds available in the literature, as well as this new contribution, it is observed that high density can generally be obtained in a more targeted manner in energetic materials taking advantage of noncovalent bonding interactions, a prerequisite for the design of next generation energetic materials.