Effect of impurity doping on the morphology of pentaerythritol tetranitrate crystals

R. Pitchimani, L. J. Hope-Weeks, G. Zhang, B. L. Weeks

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Pentaerythritol tetranitrate (PETN) is a very powerful explosive and is generally used in initiators. Changes in the morphology and surface area of aging powders are observed during long term storage, due to coarsening mechanisms (e.g., Ostwald ripening, sintering, sublimation, etc.) These changes in powder properties modify the initiation ability and performance. Various stabilization techniques have been investigated to minimize coarsening in PETN powders. In this report we present our study of changes in morphology between the pure PETN and PETN doped with the ions of iron, calcium, sodium, and zinc. We also carried out studies on the effect of annealing on the morphology of these crystals at the macroscopic and microscopic levels to determine how the different ions modify the crystal.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)203-212
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Energetic Materials
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2007


  • Atomic force microscopy
  • Pure and doped PETN


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