Cubic gauche polymeric nitrogen under ambient conditions

El Mostafa Benchafia, Zhenhua Yao, Gu Yuan, Tsengmin Chou, Hong Piao, Xianqin Wang, Zafar Iqbal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


The long-sought cubic gauche phase of polymeric nitrogen (cg-PN) with nitrogen-nitrogen single bonds has been synthesized together with a related phase by a radio-frequency plasma reaction under near-ambient conditions. Here, we report the synthesis of polymeric nitrogen using a mixture of nitrogen and argon flowing over bulk β-sodium azide or β-sodium azide dispersed on 100 nm long multiwall carbon nanotubes. The cg-PN phase is identified by Raman and attenuated total reflection-Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, and powder X-ray diffraction. The synthesis of the cubic gauche allotrope of high energy density polymeric nitrogen under near-ambient conditions should therefore enable its optimized production and applications as a "green" energetic material and a potential catalyst for different chemical reactions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number930
JournalNature communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Chemistry
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Physics and Astronomy


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