Non-isothermal sublimation kinetics of 2,4,6-trinitrotoluene (TNT) nanofilms

Walid M. Hikal, Brandon L. Weeks

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Non-isothermal sublimation kinetics of low-volatile materials is more favorable over isothermal data when time is a crucial factor to be considered, especially in the subject of detecting explosives. In this article, we report on the in-situ measurements of the sublimation activation energy for 2,4,6-trinitrotoluene (TNT) continuous nanofilms in air using rising-temperature UV-Vis absorbance spectroscopy at different heating rates. The TNT films were prepared by the spin coating deposition technique. For the first time, the most widely used procedure to determine sublimation rates using thermogravimetry analysis (TGA) and differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) was followed in this work using UV-Vis absorbance spectroscopy. The sublimation kinetics were analyzed using three well-established calculating techniques. The non-isothermal based activation energy values using the Ozawa, Flynn–Wall, and Kissinger models were 105.9 ± 1.4 kJ mol1, 102.1 ± 2.7 kJ mol1, and 105.8 ± 1.6 kJ mol1, respectively. The calculated activation energy agreed well with our previously reported isothermally-measured value for TNT nanofilms using UV-Vis absorbance spectroscopy. The results show that the well-established non-isothermal analytical techniques can be successfully applied at a nanoscale to determine sublimation kinetics using absorbance spectroscopy.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1163
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2019


  • 2
  • 4
  • 6-trinitrotoluene (TNT)
  • Activation energy
  • Explosives detection
  • Spin coating
  • Sublimation
  • UV spectroscopy


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