Doctoral Dissertations

Keywords and Phrases

Detonation; RDX; SiC; Synthesis; TNT; X-Ray Diffraction


“This research investigates the physical and chemical processes that contribute to the detonation synthesis of silicon carbide nanoparticles. Bulk production of SiC nanoparticles through detonation is possible due to pressures achieved over 20 GPa and temperatures over 2000 K as well as quenching rates in excess of 13 billion K/second. These conditions catalyze reaction and bottom-up molecular growth while retaining particles < 100 nm in diameter. In this work, detonation synthesis of SiC was demonstrated by incorporation of polycarbosilane, an SiC precursor material, into an RDX/TNT explosive matrix prior to detonation. Detonation Synthesis of SiC was also accomplished by reacting elemental silicon with carbon liberated by the detonation of negatively oxygen balanced TNT. Hydrodynamic simulation of a 60:40 mass ratio RDX/TNT detonation created conditions thermodynamically suitable to produce cubic silicon carbide within the first 500 nanoseconds after the passage of the detonation wave while carbon remains chemically reactive for molecular formation. Simulations and experimental tests indicated that loading configuration and impedance mismatch of the precursor additives used in detonation synthesis results in conditions in the additives that exceed the accepted detonation pressure of the explosive by greater than three times. Finally, a full factorial experimental design showed increasing silicon concentration, reducing silicon size, and reducing oxygen balance by adjusting the ratio of RDX to TNT decreased the explosives detonation pressure by 20% and increased the soot yield and concentration of SiC observed in the detonation products by 82% and 442% respectively”--Abstract, page iv.


Johnson, Catherine E.

Committee Member(s)

Fahrenholtz, William
Watts, Jeremy Lee, 1980-
Worsey, Paul Nicholas
Mochalin, Vadym


Mining Engineering

Degree Name

Ph. D. in Explosives Engineering


This research was supported by the Synthesis and Processing of Materials program in the Army Research Office as Short Term Innovative Research (STIR) project W911NF-17-1-0001 and project W911NF-18-1-0155.


Missouri University of Science and Technology

Publication Date

Fall 2021

Journal article titles appearing in thesis/dissertation

  • Detonation synthesis of silicon carbide nanoparticles
  • Shock focusing effects on silica phase production during cyclotrimethylene trinitramine/2,4,6-trinitrotoluene detonations
  • Detonation synthesis of nanoscale silicon carbide from elemental silicon
  • Relating detonation parameters to the detonation synthesis of silicon carbide


xiv, 118 pages

Note about bibliography

Includes bibliographic references.


© 2021 Martin John Langenderfer, All rights reserved.

Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access

File Type




Thesis Number

T 11953