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Characterization of prospective explosive materials using terahertz time-domain spectroscopy

Jun 10, 2016

Palka, Norbert, Mateusz Szala, and Elzbieta Czerwinska.


We investigated six prospective explosive materials in the terahertz range using time-domain spectroscopy. A family of energetic azotetrazolate salts and two caged nitramines were studied. A number of distinct spectral features were observed in the 0.8–3.2 THz frequency range. In transmission configuration in ambient temperature, we determined the absorption coefficient and the refractive index of the materials, which were compressed as pellets. Because the visibility of some absorption peaks was not clear, additionally we performed characterization of these materials in a temperature range from 175°C−175°C to 0°C, which resulted in highlighting peaks with low amplitude. Because the considered explosives are insensitive to compression, we also measured them using an attenuated total reflection (ATR) technique, in which sample preparation is easier than with pressed pellets. The absorption peaks measured by ATR agree well with those determined in transmission. This suggests that ATR also can be used for identification of these classes of materials.