Evidence for plasma synthesis of an amorphous polynitrogen on carbon nanotubes

Thelma G. Manning, Viral Panchal, Mounir Jaidann, Hakima Abou-Rachid, Zafar Iqbal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Radio-frequency plasma synthesis of polynitrogen (PN) stabilized on single- and multiwall carbon nanotubes has been carried out using nitrogen mixed with argon or with hydrogen as precursors. Characterization of the samples produced was conducted by Raman spectroscopy (Raman), attenuated total reflectance-Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, scanning (SEM) and transmission (TEM) electron microscopy, energy-dispersive x-ray spectroscopy, x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, and differential scanning calorimetry (DSC). Raman, SEM, and TEM showed that an amorphous PN phase is formed on the sidewalls and inside the carbon nanotubes (CNTs), which decomposes exothermally at approximately 300◦C, as indicated by DSC measurements. Molecular modeling assessment of the energy performance was carried out for the related nitrogen chain N8 molecule hosted inside a CNT and combined with the double-base energetic material (nitrocellulose, nitroglycerin). Similar assessment was also carried out for a promising nitrogen-rich molecule, 3,6-di(hydrazino)-1,2,4,5-tetrazine (DHT), in its double-base form. The encapsulation of this system inside a nitrogendoped CNT was considered for showing the effect of CNTs on energetic performance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)231-247
Number of pages17
JournalInternational Journal of Energetic Materials and Chemical Propulsion
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Materials Science


  • Carbon nanotube nanopaper sheets
  • Molecular modeling
  • Plasma synthesis
  • Raman spectroscopy
  • Scanning and transmission electron microscopy


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