High pressure study of a highly energetic nitrogen-rich carbon nitride, cyanuric triazide.

Research paper by Dominique D Laniel, Laura E LE Downie, Jesse S JS Smith, Didier D Savard, Muralee M Murugesu, Serge S Desgreniers

Indexed on: 22 Dec '14Published on: 22 Dec '14Published in: The Journal of chemical physics


Cyanuric triazide (CTA), a nitrogen-rich energetic material, was compressed in a diamond anvil cell up to 63.2 GPa. Samples were characterized by x-ray diffraction, Raman, and infrared spectroscopy. A phase transition occurring between 29.8 and 30.7 GPa was found by all three techniques. The bulk modulus and its pressure derivative of the low pressure phase were determined by fitting the 300 K isothermal compression data to the Birch-Murnaghan equation of state. Due to the strong photosensitivity of CTA, synchrotron generated x-rays and visible laser radiation both lead to the progressive conversion of CTA into a two dimensional amorphous C=N network, starting from 9.2 GPa. As a result of the conversion, increasingly weak and broad x-ray diffraction lines were recorded from crystalline CTA as a function of pressure. Hence, a definite structure could not be obtained for the high pressure phase of CTA. Results from infrared spectroscopy carried out to 40.5 GPa suggest the high pressure formation of a lattice built of tri-tetrazole molecular units. The decompression study showed stability of the high pressure phase down to 13.9 GPa. Finally, two CTA samples, one loaded with neon and the other with nitrogen, used as pressure transmitting media, were laser-heated to approximately 1100 K and 1500 K while compressed at 37.7 GPa and 42.0 GPa, respectively. In both cases CTA decomposed resulting in amorphous compounds, as recovered at ambient conditions.