Far Too Sensitive Explosives

Far Too Sensitive Explosives

Author: Charlotte Brückner

Tetrazole derivatives are known to form powerful explosives, as they are a combination of two common strategies to produce energetic materials. Both the high nitrogen content and the ring strain contribute to the energy released in an eventual explosion. Ideal properties for an explosive are obtained by variation of the substituents at the nitrogen atoms of the tetrazole ring.

Thomas Klapötke and co-workers, University of Munich, Germany, synthesized the first energetic tetrazolium cation with three amino groups at the tetrazole ring by amination of 1,5-diaminotetrazole, resulting in 1,4,5-triaminotetrazolium tosylate. Exchanging the anion in metathesis reactions, the researchers were able to isolate several substances containing the triaminotetrazolium cation.

Although these substances possess very high heats of formation, they will probably be of limited use: As they are extremely sensitive towards mechanical and electrostatic stimuli, they are not suitable for any applications in explosives or propellant formulations.

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