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Encapsulation of Perchlorate Salts within Metal Oxides for Application as Nanoenergetic Oxidizers



In this work, high-oxygen-content strong oxidizer perchlorate salts were successfully incorporated into current nanothermite composite formulations. The perchlorates were encapsulated within mild oxidizer particles through a series of thermal decomposition, melting, phase segregation, and recrystallization processes, which occurred within confined aerosol droplets. This approach enables the use of hygroscopic materials by stabilizing them within a matrix. Several samples, including Fe2O3/KClO4, CuO/KClO4 and Fe2O3/NH4ClO4 composite oxidizer particles, have been created. The results show that these composite systems significantly outperform the single metal oxide system in both pressurization rate and peak pressure. The ignition temperatures for these mixtures are significantly lower than those of the metal oxides alone, and time-resolved mass spectrometry shows that O2 release from the oxidizer also occurs at a lower temperature and with high flux. The results are consistent with O2 release being the controlling factor in determining the ignition temperature. High-speed imaging clearly shows a much more violent reaction. The results suggest that a strategy of encapsulating a very strong oxidizer, which may not be environmentally compatible, within a more stable weak oxidizer offers the opportunity to both tune reactivity and employ materials that previously could not be considered.