Journal Highlight: High-resolution Raman spectroscopy for the nanostructural characterization of explosive nanodiamond precursors

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  • Published: Feb 6, 2017
  • Author: spectroscopyNOW
  • Channels: Raman
thumbnail image: Journal Highlight: High-resolution Raman spectroscopy for the nanostructural characterization of explosive nanodiamond precursors

Raman and tip-enhanced Raman spectroscopy has been used to resolve morphological and structural differences of differently prepared hexolite nanocomposites used to prepare nanodiamonds by detonation.

High-resolution Raman spectroscopy for the nanostructural characterization of explosive nanodiamond precursors

ChemPhysChem, 2017, 18, 175-178
Tanja Deckert-Gaudig, Vincent Pichot, Denis Spitzer and Volker Deckert

Abstract: The specific attributes of nanodiamonds have attracted increasing interest for electronics or biomedical applications. An efficient synthetic route towards nanodiamonds is via detonation of hexolite (i.e. a mixture of TNT [2,4,6-trinitrotoluene] and RDX [1,3,5-trinitro-1,3,5-triazine]). In particular, detonation of hexolite crystallized by spray flash evaporation (SFE) yields extremely small diamonds (<4 nm). To unravel the detonation mechanism, a structural characterization of the explosives is required but is challenging due to their thermal instability. We demonstrate a combination of conventional Raman spectroscopy and tip-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (TERS) for resolving morphological and structural differences of differently prepared hexolite nanocomposites. The experiments allow for the first time a structural differentiation of individual TNT and RDX crystals and 15–20 nm sized core–shell structures, consequently providing a general approach to investigate the actual composition of mixtures on the nanometer scale.

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