Ultrafast detonation of hydrazoic acid (HN 3)

Evan J. Reed, Alejandro W. Rodriguez, M. Riad Manaa, Laurence E. Fried, Craig M. Tarver

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


The fastest self-sustained chemical reactions in nature occur during detonation of energetic materials where reactions are thought to occur on nanosecond or longer time scales in carbon-containing materials. Here we perform the first atomistic simulation of an azide energetic material, HN 3, from the beginning to the end of the chemical evolution and find that the time scale for complete decomposition is a mere 10 ps, orders of magnitude shorter than that of secondary explosives and approaching the fundamental limiting time scale for chemistry; i.e., vibrational time scale. We study several consequences of the short time scale including a state of vibrational disequilibrium induced by the fast transformations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number038301
JournalPhysical review letters
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 17 2012
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Physics and Astronomy


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