• azides;
  • azo compounds;
  • combustion;
  • energetic materials;
  • X-ray diffraction


1-Hydroxy-5-aminotetrazole (1), which is a long-desired starting material for the synthesis of hundreds of new energetic materials, was synthesized for the first time by the reaction of aqueous hydroxylamine with cyanogen azide. The use of this unique precursor was demonstrated by the preparation of several energetic compounds with equal or higher performance than that of commonly used explosives, such as hexogen (RDX). The prepared compounds, including energetic salts of 1-hydroxy-5-aminotetrazole (hydroxylammonium (2, two polymorphs) and ammonium (3)), azo-coupled derivatives (potassium (5), hydroxylammonium (6), ammonium (7), and hydrazinium 5,5′-azo-bis(1-N-oxidotetrazolate (8, two polymorphs)), as well as neutral compounds 5,5′-azo-bis(1-oxidotetrazole) (4) and 5,5′-bis(1-oxidotetrazole)hydrazine (9), were intensively characterized by low-temperature X-ray diffraction, IR, Raman, and multinuclear NMR spectroscopy, elemental analysis, and DSC. The calculated energetic performance, by using the EXPLO5 code, based on the calculated (CBS-4M) heats of formation and X-ray densities confirm the high energetic performance of tetrazole-N-oxides as energetic materials. Last but not least, their sensitivity towards impact, friction, and electrostatic discharge were explored. 5,5′-Azo-bis(1-N-oxidotetrazole) deflagrates close to the DDT (deflagration-to-detonation transition) faster than all compounds that have been investigated in our research group to date.