Department Of Energy FOIA Records For Nano-Explosive Materials Development Circa 2001

The following are Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) records provided by the U.S. Department of Energy (DoE) pertaining to nano-sized energetic materials research and development circa 2001. Along with various divisions of the U.S. Department of Defense, the DoE also developed nano-sized explosive materials circa 2001, similar to nano-sized explosive materials discovered in the dust created by the World Trade Center tower collapses on September 11, 2001 and reported by the 2009 study entitled Active Thermitic Material Discovered in Dust from the 9/11 World Trade Center Catastrophe.

DoE FOIA Records File:

FOIA paper

can't read the pdf. poor quality of the copy. too bad.


Probably the worst copies provided by an agency thus far.

In any event, according to a figure familiar with this research, these records are either already available and/or represent a fraction of what is or should be available.


Good work Aidan. A follow up interview with the guys who developed and managed this research would be icing on the cake.


You're the man! I can only imagine the concern you have generated with the real guilty.

Ditto. Ditto. You're the man!

Thank you Aidan! again!

Great work Aidan!

More good stuff from the 9/11 Truth Movement FOIA man.... ;-)
I make a point of reading all the down voted comments because I find many of them to be the best comments. - Atomicbomb

Are bomb smell dogs trained to detect military nano-bombs ?

Herblay FRANCE

bonsoir ,
. thank you for this post as making the proof of nano bombs ( nano-thermite ) amongst the debris is a good way for us to waken our citizens to the Bush government's lies on the 911 attacks.
. Normally these nano bombs should be found in the hundred of thousands of tons of the WTC débris on Staten Island ( see annex °1 or ).
. Can anyone tell us if this debris has been tested for nano-thermite ?
. Can anyone tell us if bomb smell dogs are trained to detect nano-thermite ? If not why not ?
. Where can we see the nano-thermite military testing ?

Thanks for any reply.

Yours John

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I doubt the dogs can smell it

First, hello from America, John. It is great to see you as involved in this as you are. I love reading your posts and gaining your perspective on this situation. You ask some great questions. I am probably one of the least educated people on here, so this may be WAY off, but I imagine that bomb-sniffing dogs would have a hard time differentiating the smell of iron rust and aluminum, which is the basic ingredients we are dealing with here, and the smell of a car or truck. Again, I am only speculating, and I may be severely underestimating a dog's nose, but it seems unlikely to me that they could train for this. One other point to that, however, is look at who trains the bomb sniffing dogs. My boys are in Scouts, and I live in the Minneapolis area. One Scout meeting, the Minneapolis PD sent an officer and a bomb sniffing dog to speak, and we had a chance to ask him a lot of questions. One I asked is who trains the dogs and can all dogs be trained for this. Well, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms train these dogs, and it is a significant amount of money. Hundreds of thousands of dollars. And it seems to me that if a criminal were to train an animal to track something, it would not be anything they would use to commit a crime. Seems odd they pulled the bomb sniffing dogs just before the event, but again, I am very uneducated. I would really like to know myself, now....

The love that you withhold is the pain that you carry

No smell, no longer necessay to reply to dog counter argument

If the dogs can not smell nano-thermite then exit the counter argument how were the explosives bought into the WTC buildings past the anti bomb dogs.
The bomb smelling dogs were of no use in the case of presence of military nano-thermite "bombs" ?

We should warn the military everywhere, to upgrade their methods of bomb detection. Do the airports detect powder nano-thermite ? We have heard about the danger of liquids on the aeroplanes. Have they thought about powder nano-thermite ?

Aidan, you are incredible

This set of papers has some great information in it. The first few pages are of very poor and illegible quality, but once you get in a few pages, most notably to page 16, you see them implicate Los Alamos and explain that they have developed nano-thermite, and that they have achieved "burn rates 1000 times that of conventional powder mixes." That is a HUGE smoking gun in my opinion, it basically states in these few pages exactly what Dr. Jones and his colleagues have found - the size, the composition, and the reactive qualities of what was found in the WTC dust. Not only that, but since this is a paper describing experiments and findings, this material has (obviously) never been used until this point commercially. That means to get your hands on this or to create it yourself, you need an intimate understanding of nano-chemistry and processing. This is incredible, to me, because it proves beyond a shadow of a doubt what was used and who developed it. The paper is dated 2001. We are crawling around on top of the truth here, lets keep digging and really expose this!! I pray that Dr. Jones and his band of fellow patriots have a chance to review this and comment, I would love to hear a scientific explanation and rebuttal to what we are seeing in this paper and how it applies to what they have found in their research. Aidan, we would be lost without brave, tenacious, intelligent men like yourself. I feel personally indebted to all of you that put so much into this because I see how exposing this is so important for my children and so on. Please, never relent, never surrender, never take your eyes off the prize!!

The love that you withhold is the pain that you carry

This is big....

because it confirms nanothermite and nano-sized explosives as being fact, not fiction. Developed in 2001. And it points directly to Los Alamos which has affiliation with the Department of Energy.

Great. I've run up against naysayers and 'debukers' who have rejected the nanothermite evidence in the WTC dust because they say that nano-thermite is B.S.

They can eat some crow now. (Can anyone post page 16 here?)

below copy/paste text with page 16. Ready to tidy up+ translate

Herblay FRANCE

bonjour ,
down below is the more or less copy / paste of the text in the document above. Perhaps someone can tidy up the text and post it back here.
Once done I will take mine off.

page 16 is after the "°16 _ _ _ _ _ " tag.

I think with 911blogger it should be possible to diplay an uploaded .pdf. Never done it before but will give it a try.

The advantage with the text is that it can be copied / pasted into an automatique translator. ( German , Spanish etc).



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Sol-gel processing of energetic materials
T.M. Tillotson a.• L.W. Hrubesh a, G.L. Fox a, R.L. Simpson b, R.W. Lee b • R.W. Swansiger b, & L.R. Simpson b
a Chemistry and Malerial Science DireetoDlC, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. Livermore. CA 94S~O
b Enerletic Materials Center. Lawrence Llvenoore National Laboratory. Uvennore, CA 94SSO
As pan of a new materials effort, we are exploring the use of sol-gel chemistry to manufacture energetic materials. Traditional manufacturing of energetic materials involves processing of granular solids. One application is the production of detonators where powders of energetic material and a binder are typically mixed and compacted at high pressure to make pellets. Perfonnance properties are strongly dependent on particle size distribution, surface area of iL~ constituents, homogeneity of the mix. and void volume. The goal is to produce detonators with fast energy release rate that are insensitive to unintended initiation. In this paper. we report results of our early work in this field of research, including the preparation of detonators from xerogel mOlding powders and aerogels, comparing the material properties with present state-of-the-art technology.
1. Introduction
The International Symposium on Aerogels (lSA) has traditionaJly been a forum for the discussion of novel aerogel applications. At the first meeting, Poelz described how aerogel was llsed in Cerenkoy detectors for high energy physics experiments! I]; an application whJch. along with Teichner's alkoxide synthetic method[2]. is largely credited for the resurgence of aerogel re.l;earch starting in the early 1980·s. Aerogel a<; translucent super-insulation for passive solar energy utilization in trombe walls was introduced by Goerzberger, et al[3] and Fricke[4]. Subsequent symposia have disclosed an increasing number of potential applications. For example, the synthesis of carbon aerogels described by Pekala at ISA3[S], has led many groups to explore the electrochemical application of these aerogels as electrodes in super capacilors[6] and capacitive de ionization processes[7]. Later this year, Polystor, Inc. in Dublin, California, plans to start shipping carbon aerogelbased super capacitors for use in small electronics like pagers and cellular phones[8J. At ISA4, Alkemper demonstrated for the fIrst time that silica aerogels could be fabricated into molds for the casting of metals(9], and Tsou reported on NASA's use of ult.ra1ow density silica aerogels for intact capture of cosmic dust[lO]. NASA continues to explore space applications for aerogels and, on the recent Mars Pathfinder mission. ultra loco-density

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(ULD) silica aerogels insulated the electronic components of the rover module from the extreme climatic conditions while achieving a 30% weight reduction. is just a partial
listing of the myriad of potential applications, but all are novel applications arising from the
unique nanostructure of sol-gel derived aerogels.
In this paper, we repon our pioneering work on the sol-gel processing of energetic materials. Energetic materials are defined here as any material that stores chemical energy in a fixed volume. Explosives, propellants. and pyrotechnics are all examples of energetic materials. Detonation results from either shock or heat. Explosives and propellants may be thought of as a means of storing gas as a "solid". Dynamite was the most widely used explosive for conunercial applications until 1955 when it was largely replaced by prillsand-oil and slurry types. Prills-and-oil, or A..''FO. is composed of 94% anunonium nitrate prills and 6% fuel oil. SluIT)' blasting agents are based on gelatinized ammonium nitrate slurries. sensitized with TNT, aluminum, or other solid explosives. Since then. energetic material processing has essentially been a refinement of existing procedures. One example is the pressing of powders of energetic material for detonators. However, low manufacturing rates, difficulty in intimately mixing fine powden. and the inability to produce precise geomeuic shapes are severe limitations. Using sol-gel chemistry. the intimacy of mixing can be controlled and dramatically improved over the currem state-afme-an technology. while providing a method for casting near nct-shape geometric solids. In general, initiation and detonation properties are dramatically affected by the microstructural properties of explosives. Energetic materials produced by sol-gel methods would allow microstructural control on the nanometer scale, possibly producing entirely new and desirable properties.
2. Experimental procedures
The sol*gel method is a procedure where reactants first form nano-size primary particles suspended in a solution, i.e., a "sol". These primary particles continue to crosslink, increasing the solution viscosity until a 3-dimensional solid network is produced with the unreacted liquid residing within the network's open pores, Le.• a "gel", Solution chemistry determines the resulting nano-structure and composition. which in turn, dictates the material propenies. Controlled, slow evaporation of the liquid phase of the gel, results in a solid that is -50% porous, called a "xeroger'[ll]. Supercritical extraction (SCE) of the liquid phase eliminates the surface tension of evaporating liquids producing highly porous low density solids, called "aerogels"[12.131. One can envision numerous synthetic routes utilizing this method in processing energetic materials. but we have focused our early work on four approaches: solution addition, powder/particle addition. nano-composites, and

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functionaliud solid networks. Here. we describe the concept and details of the first two approaches and present some early results. Our more recent work on the latter two approaches wiJl be published in the near future when characterization results are completed.
2.1 Solution addition
The idea is to crystallize the energetic material within the pores of a sol-gel derived solid. In practice, the energetic material is dissolved in a solvent which is compatible with the reactants and used for density control of the resulting gel. Optimum composition for use as detonators would be 90 wt % energetic rnateriaVlO wt % inen matrix. Due to the solubility limil~ of most energetic materials the preparation of law density porous solids are necessitated to meet this requirement. For Ibis work. energetic molecules. hexahydro1,3,5 -trinotro-l,3,5-triazine (RDX) and 2,2-bis[(nitroxy)methyIJ-1 ,3-propanediol dinitrate (PETN), were crystallized within the pores of silica matrices.
Either single-or two-step silicon alkoxide synthesis methodology described elsewhere[2, 14,15] may be used to prepare the silica matrix. We found it necessary to prepare and mi.\ three solutions in this synthesis, to avoid unwanted precipitation of the energetic m~tetiaJ. A 100% excess of water was added to promote the hydrolysis reactions. Eilher an acid or base catalyst may be used, but for reasons discussed later, tluroboric acid is our catalyst of choice. A typical recipe would consist of; solution A1.25g tetraJl1clhoxysilane (fMOS) + l.00g acetone; solution B-l.00g acetone +0.6Og water + 150~1 Ouoroboric acid: solution C-6.00g acetone + .400g RDX. Subsequential additions of solutions B and C are poured into a stirring solution A. This combined llulution is :ilil:c"o for a few minutes and poured into molds, where gellation occurs in <24 houni. The IliasS weight of the silica matrix is controlled by the amount of alkoxide added to solution A. while UIC mass weight of RDX is limited to its sotubillly in acetone. Xerogelling was June at 25°C by polcing pinholes in the polyethylene foil covering the mold held in place by rubber bands. Supercritical extraction of the gels into aerogels was done by the low temperature CO2 process. To prevent loss of the solubilized energetic molecules during SCE. the RDX or PETN was fmt crystallized within the pores of the matrix by replacing the pore liquor with a solvent in which the energetic material is insoluble, bUI one which is still miscible in CCh. Ethanol was used for these experiments. The pore liquor was c:xchanged, while the crystallization of the energetic molecules proceeded by inunl'rsing the gel into large excesses ofethanol, three times over a 24 hour period. Low temperature extraction was preferred to the high temperature autoclave process because most energetic molecules, like RDX and PETN, are extremely heat sensitive and they will either degrade or detonate at temperatures >l000C.
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2.2 Powtkr!particle addition
Loading particles/powders unifonnly inside gels is problematic bttau.~ even ultrafine particles will tend to settle before the gel sets up. producing a non-uniform distribution. Also, particles can aggregate in solution, exacerbating this problem further. We describe here. for the first time, a methodology which we call the gel mending approach that dramatically improves this homogeneity. ConcepnWly, it makes use of the observation that a monolithic gel can be re·generated from gel fragments. First. a gel is prepared. Then the gel is fractionated by any process that breaks the gel into ~mall fragments. i.e.. a blender. With continued mixing. the powder/particles are added until a uniform dispersion is reached. Gels made from metal alkoxides tend to self-mend and reform a monolith including the dispersed powderlparticJes, with the additjon of a small amount of solvent. At this point. the gel can be dried by the above mentioned processes to produce xerogels and having with a unifonn distribution of the powder or particles.
For this work. we made silica gels from TMOS. dispersing either RDX or PETN. and reforming the gel with a small addition of methanol. The reformed gels were translucent to opaque depending on the wt% concentration of the energetic material. Xerogel molding powders were produced by the above described xerogcling process and then pressed into peJlets for drop harruner ~nsitjvity and shock initiation experiments. One advantage of this approach over the solullon addition approach, is the ease of preparing highly concentrated energetic materials with precise wt% ratio·s.
2.3 Characteriz.ation methods
Characterization of these materials is more difficult than for typical sol-gel derived materials due 10 the energetic component of the matrices. Differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) was used to determine if the energetic material was present in the final dried products. Optical, scanning and transrrUssion electron microscopy wert used to study the microstructure.
The drop hammer test, a standard energetic material characlerization technique. was used to measure the impact sensitivity of our produced materials. In this test. a 2.5kg weight is dropped from a pre-set height onto a 35mg pressed pellet of material, and explosion or non~xplosioD is recorded. Depending on this outcome, the hammer is raised or lowered resulting in a series of drops with either explosion or non-explosion being recorded. The criterion for "explosion" is an arbitrary level of sound produced by the explosive on impact. The test results are recorded as 50. the height in centimeters for
which the probability of explosion is 50%[ 17].

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The shock initiation experiments used to det.ennine ifour materials were detonable were done by the flyer-plate technique, another energetic material standard. In this technique, an explosive charge is ignited The expanding gas pressure bursts a metal foil. sending a shock W;lve through a pressed pellet which is observed through a lithium fluoride crystal, by a laser 'Ie locimctcr[ 17].
3. Results
Our flCSt concern was whether the enetgetic materials, RDX and PETN; survived lhe sol-gel processing. Differential scanning calorimetry analysis shown in Figure I, confinns their presence. PETN based materials had a small endotherm at 143°C followed by a exothenn at 200<>c' characteristic of neat PETN. Corresponding agreement with RDX was found in the RlJX lJiLc;ed aerogels and xerogels. Some slight degradation of the energetic matenal~ 'W.1S observed in materials prepared using base catalysis. This degradation was more pronounced in materials made by the solution addition method than those prepared by the powder addition approach.
Monolithic aerogels prepared by the solution addition of RDX are depicted in Figure 2. Monolithicily was maintained in compositions up to 45 wt% RDX in aSS wt% Si02 matrix. In the lowest composition. 17 wt% RDX, the crystals are naked to the visible ~ye whil~ in,:rc:asillg ....ompo:;illons uf RDX visibly show the growth or orthorhombic crystals. An upllcJJ !lIiCJ0graph of these crystals in a 30 wt% RDX aerogel is shown in figure 3. Cry~la1 growth by thiS solution addition method appears to be non-unifonn with crystal conccnuation radiating outward from the center of the cylinder, leaving a void region ncar the cylinder surface. Increasing wt%RDX compositions, also show a higher RDX crystal gradient at the bottom of the cylinder when cast upright
The Impact sensitivity of an energetic material to unintended initiation is an Important safcl)' factor in their use. Drop-hammer sensitivity tests summarized in Table I gave some surprising re~lllts. Results show that pellets pressed from xerogel molding powders pr~pa!('d by the powder addition method, have significantly lower sensitivities than current st3te-of-the-:u1 powder mixing technology. This result was counter lo expeclations. Earlier work at our laboratory had shown increased sensitivities when fumed silica was used as a inert maoix at similar wt% compositions.
Desensiti7.ed rnat~rials are only an improvement in technology if they are still able to be ignited wilh reasonable power outputs. The shock initiation experiment shown in figure 4 demonstrated this pLIsslbility when an 80 wt% RDX x.erogel molding powder, pressed

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into a detonator pellet. was able to be ignited. Previous experiments with 33 wt% RDX
concentrations were not able to be ignited. The lower limit of igniubilty i~ currently being
4. Discussion
The DSC analysis points to some optimum processing conditions. Since there is a slight degradation with base eatalysis, maximum retainmenl ofeither RDX or PETN' is best realized in low pH sOlutions, prompting the need for acid catalyst". However, use of acidic catalysts greatly increases gel times, except in the case of fluorine containing acids. lier posrulaled that the fluoride ion may allow the temporary expansion of Ih<: coordination number of silicon from four to five or six. just as in the case of the hydroxy ion[ 18], or base catalyst. to dramatically reduce gel time in low pH sol-gel solutions. As such, we
recommend the use of fluoroboric acid (HBF4) for gel times less than 24 hours. Also,
from a safety standpoint fluocoboric acid is considerably less dangerous to handle than
hydrofluoric acid (HF), as a source of fluorine ions.
The radial non-unifonn disuibution of crystals, RDX or PETN, in (he monolithic aerogel cylinders prepared by the solution addition approach. is perhaps not surprising when considering the dynamics of the process used here to induce cryMall:l.arion. The reptacement of pore liquor in a gel with a miscible ~olv~nt, is a difrmion limited process. As the etllanol diffused mto the gel cylinder it is quite possible that the in~,duble energetic molecules redistributed in the acetone rich interior. The non-unifonuity, evidenced by the higher concentration of crystal growth at the base of the cylinder. could he due to convective flow in the solution prior to gelatinn. Future work will investlg;tte the usc of crystal growth inhibitors to control the size of crystals. as a means for incre;L<;ing the wt% energetic rnatenal.
The impact sensitivity results for !.he xcrogcl molding powders made hy the powder addition approach. are not well understood This unexpected findmg that (he prc~ncc of the gel structure significantly decreases the impact sem.itivity might be due to a more intimate mIXing of energetic material and inert matrix than is possible with current-state-ofthe-art powder mixing technology. Another possibility is that the porous gel structure is influencing the sensitivity by providing a protective insulating barrier around the energetic molecules, RDX or PETN. This structure may absorb and traIlSpOI1 the heat generated on, impact away from the energetic molecules. thereby alkviating the possibility of run-a-way reactions and detonation. Further investigations to und(:rsland this phenomena are also in

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5. Conclusion
We have shown that sol-gel processing of energetic materials produces desensitized detonators which are btill capable of initiation. TIlis result could have dramatic international impact on handling and processing energetic materials.
The authors would like to thank Frank Garcia for the DSC analysis. Jack Cutting for the shock wave experiments, and Mark. Wall for the transmission electron microcroscopy. This work was performed under the auspices of the U.S. Department of Energy by the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory under'contract No. W-7405-ENG

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N anostructured energetic materials using sol-gel methodologies
T.M. Tillotson *, A.E. Gash, R.L. Simpson, L.W. Hrubesh, J.H. Satcher Jr.,
J.P. Poco
Lall"l"('/l("l' LlVal1lur(' .Y"/iOlwl L"bUI"lIIO/T, Clim/is/r}' a/lJ Ala/eri,,1 Science Direc/urille, P.o. Bux 808 L-092. Liw"1nure, CA 94550. [;SA
We have utilized a sol-gel synthetic approach in preparing nano-sized transition metal oxide components for new energetic nanocomposites. Nanocomposites of Fe20J/AI(s), are readily produced from a solution of Fe(III) salt by adding an organic epoxide and a powder of the fuel metal. These materials can be processed to aerogel or xerogel monolithic composite solids. High resolution transmission electron microscopy (HRTEM) of the dried energetic nanocomposites reveal that the metal oxide component consists of small (3-10 nm) clusters of Fe201 that are in intimate contact with ultra fine grain (UFG) ~25 nm diameter AI metal particles. HRTEM results also indicate that the AI particles have an oxide coating ~5 nm thick. This value agrees well with analysis of pristine UFG AI powder and indicates that the sol--gel synthetic method and processing does not significantly perturb the fuel metal. Both qualitative and quantitative characterization has shown that these materials are indeed energetic. The materials described here are relatively insensitive to standard impact, spark, and friction tests, results of which will be presented. Qualitatively, it does appear that these energetic nanocomposites burn faster and are more sensitive to thermal ignition than their conventional counterparts and that aerogel materials are more sensitive to ignition than xerogels. We believe that the sol-gel method will at the very least provide processing advantages over conventional methods in the areas of cost, purity, homogeneity, and safety and potentially yield energetic materials with interesting and special properties. © 2001 Published by Elsevier Science B.V.
PACS: 81.20.Fw: 82.33.Ln
1. Introduction
Energetic materials are substances that store energy chemically and are typically categorized as propellants, explosives, and pyrotechnics. Since the invention of black powder, over a
• Corresponding author. Tel.: + 1-925 423 7925: fax: + 1-925
423 4897. E-mailaddr(.ss.lillotson I(gi, (1'. M, Tillotson).
thousand years ago, the technology for making solid energetic materials has remained largely unchanged. Their preparation typically involves either the physical mixing of solid oxidizers and fuels (e.g., black powder) to produce a composite, or the incorporation of oxidizing and fuel moieties into one molecule (e.g., trinitrotoluene, TNT) to form a monomolecular energetic material.
The basic distinctions between the composite and monomolecular approaches to obtain energetic
0022-3093/01/$ -see front matter © 2001 Published by Elsevier Science B.Y, PI!: SO0 22-3093(0 I) 00 477 -X
Enclosure 4

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TM. Tillotson et al. I Journal oINon-Crystalline Solids 285 (200/) 338-345
materials are as follows. In composite systems,
desired energy properties can be attained through
readily varied ratios of oxidizer and fuels. A
complete balance between the oxidizer and fuel
may be reached to maximize energy density.
However, due to the granular nature of composite
energetic materials, reaction kinetics are largely
controlled by mass transport rates between reac
tants. Although composites may have extreme
energy densities, the release rate of that energy
(power) is below that which may be attained in a
kinetically controlled process, (i.e., in monomo
lecular energetic materials).
It is well known that the initiation and deto
nation properties of energetic materials are
strongly influenced by their microstructural prop
erties [1-3]. One attractive feature of the sol-gel
approach to energetic material processing is that it
offers the possibility to precisely control oxidizer
fuel compositions and produce materials with
variable and uniform densities. In addition, it al
lows intimate mixing of components on the na
nometer scale. All of these benefits are difficult if
not impossible to achieve by most conventional
Using sol-gel chemistry it is possible to create composites whose constituents have dimensions in the nanometer range. Presumably the power of these composites will be enhanced, relative to conventional materials prepared by more traditional methods (i.e., powder mixing), because the intimate contact between components should reduce the diffusion distances between oxidizer and fuel components. This concept is not without precedent as researchers at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) have shown that nano-clusters of oxidizer/fuel mixtures (with particle diameters of 20-50 nm) can achieve burn rates 1000 times that of conventional powder mixes [4-6]. These materials, called metastable intermolecular composites (MIC), rely on dynamic gas phase condensation and not solgel chemistry as their primary means of preparation.
In previous accounts, we described four specific sol-gel approaches for preparing energetic materials [7] and presented early results on two methods -solution crystallization and powder addition [8]. Herein we detail our recent work on a third approach: the synthesis and physical characteristics of inorganic energetic nanocomposites. In these composites the fuel resides within the pores of the solid matrix while the oxidizer comprises the skeletal matrix.
Our work has focused on the development of sol-gel methods to synthesize porous monoliths and powders of nano-sized transition metal oxides (i.e., Fe203, Cr203, and NiO). When combined with oxophillic metals such as aluminum, magnesium, or zirconium these mixtures can undergo the thermite reaction (a scheme of the reaction is given below in (1». In the thermite reaction the metal oxide (M(I)O(s» and oxophillic
M(I)O(s) + M(2)(s) -> M(I)(s) + M(2)O(s) + AH
metal (M(2)(s») undergo a solid-state reduction/ oxidation reaction, which is rapid and very exothermic; indeed, some thermite reaction temperatures exceed 3000 K. Such reactions are examples of oxide/metal reactions that provide their own oxygen supply and, as such, are selfsustaining once initiated. The energy density of these composite systems can be nearly twice that of the best monomolecular energetic materials. They have found use in a variety of processes and products including hardware destruction devices, welding of railroad track, as torches in underwater cutting, additives to propel1ants and high explosives, free standing heat sources, airbag ignition materials, and a host of other applications [9-18]. Traditionally, thermites are prepared by mixing fine component powders, such as ferric oxide and aluminum. Mixing fine metal powders by conventional means can be an extreme fire hazard; sol-gel methods reduce that hazard while achieving ultrafine particle dispersions that are not possible with normal processing methods. In conventional mixing, domains rich in either fuel or oxidizer can exist which limit the mass transport and therefore decrease the efficiency of the reaction. Sol-gel derived nanocomposites, however, should be more uniformly mixed, thus reducing the magnitude of this effect.

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340 T M Tillotson et al. I JOl/rnal of Non-Crystalline Solids 285 (2001) 338-345
2. Experimental
2.1. Oxidi=ing-skeletonljuel nanocomposites
In an earlier account, we described a sol-gel procedure for synthesizing lanthanide oxide aerogels from hydrated salts of erbium, praesodymium, and neodymium using propylene oxide as a gelation agent [19]. This synthesis approach works well for a variety of inorganic metal oxides, and we have used it successfully to make an ironoxide oxidizing skeleton from Fe(III) salts for a nanocomposite thermite. The details and mechanism of this synthesis including the dependence of gel formation and rate on the type of epoxide used, the type of Fe(III) salt, epoxide/Fe(III) ratio, amount of water present (Fe/H20), along with the preferred solvent choice (i.e., polar vs. nonpolar, aprotic vs. protic) has been previously described in detail [20]. Essentially, with a sufficient amount of water and epoxide, preferably in a polar protic solvent, transparent red-brown monolithic gels will form. It should be noted that the epoxide acts as a gelation agent that is consumed in the process of gel formation and not as a catalyst.
In a typical procedure, 1.0 g Fe(N03)3 ·9H20
(2.5 mmol) is dissolved in 5.0 g of 200 proof ethanol with stirring to give a clear red-orange solution. Upon the addition of 1.0 g of propylene oxide (17 mmo!), there is a rapid exothermic reaction accompanied by a color change to a dark redbrown solution. (Caution: the color change is accompanied by significant heat generation that in some cases can lead to rapid boil over of the synthesis solution. The authors recommend the cautious addition of the epoxide to the Fe(IIl) solution in a well-ventilated lab space to remedy this problem.) Under the above conditions, gelation occurs in less than 5 min.
Powdered metal fuels, like aluminum, were added to stirred Fe(III)/epoxide solutions just before gelation to obtain the best homogeneity. Rigid wet monolithic gels with uniformly distributed aluminum particles were obtained by this approach. For the materials reported here two types of aluminum metal were used. Micron-sized (ave. diameter '"'"'6 11m) aluminum metal from Alcan-Toyo and nanometer-sized aluminum (ave. particle diameter '"'"'30 nm) prepared by the dynamic gas condensation method at LANL were used as received. For all energetic nanocomposite formulations the molar ratio of Fe(III)/AI was 1.0 (as it is in the balanced thermite reaction).
The final step of removing the pore fluid from the wet gels is accomplished by either evaporation (in a vacuum oven held at 70°C) over 5-6 days to produce a xerogel, or by supercritical extraction (SCE) with carbon dioxide to yield a monolithic aerogel. The low temperature SCE was performed in a Polaron ™ critical point drier. For this operation, the gel is placed in the drier where the liquid in the pores is exchanged with liquid CO2 by a series of flush and drain cycles at 10°C. Following solvent exchange, the temperature of the vessel is ramped to 45°C at a rate of 0.5°C per minute, while maintaining a pressure of '"'"' 100 bars. The vessel is depressurized at a rate of '" I bar per minute, before being purged and cooled. The time required to complete the entire exchange and extraction process for I em diameter samples is typically 3-4 days.
2.2. Physical characterization
High resolution transmlSSlOn electron microscopy (HRTEM) was performed on a Philips CM300FEG operating at 300 keY using zero loss energy filtering with a Gatan energy Imaging Filter (GIF) to remove inelastic scattering. The images were taken under BF (bright field) conditions and slightly defocused to increase contrast. The images were recorded on a 2 x 2 K CCD camera attached to the GIF.
Surface area and pore volume and size analyses were performed by BET (Brunauer-EmmettTeller) and BJH (Barrett-Joyner-Halenda) methods using an ASAP 2000 Surface area Analyzer (Micromeritics Instrument Corporation). Samples of approximately 0.1-0.2 g were heated to 200°C under vacuum (10-5 Torr) for at least 24 h to remove all adsorbed species. Nitrogen adsorption data were taken at five relative pressures from 0.05 to 0.20 at 77 K, to calculate the surface area by BET theory.

°18_ _ _ _ _
TM. Tillotson et al. I Journal of Non-Crystalline Solids 285 (2001) 338-345
The standard energetic material safety characterization techniques including the drop hammer, spark, and friction tests were performed on these materials. Using a type 12 drop hammer apparatus, 2.5 kg weight is dropped from a preset height onto a 35 mg pressed pellet of the material. A threshold acoustical response from diagnostic equipment determines if an explosive event occurred. Friction tests were performed by striking a ceramic stub across a portion of the material that was spread on a ceramic stage. The stub was attached to a 36 kg weight. Spark testing was performed on small amounts of the materials using an apparatus that delivered a spark with a maximum of I J of energy with 510 n resistance. The purpose of the spark test is to exceed the maximum static energy that could be generated by a person under ideal conditions (approximately 0.1 J). With all of the safety tests at least ten replicates were performed.
Differential scanning calorimetry was performed on energetic nanocomposites that were contained in pressed Al pans. The samples were heated using a TA Instruments Model 2920 differential scanning calorimeter, from room temperature to 600°C and the heating rate was 10°C/ min. Powder X-ray diffraction (PXRD) experiments were performed on powdered samples mounted on quartz slides and loaded into a CPS 120 Curved Position Sensitive Detector unit that utilizes CuKe>. radiation.
3. Results
A typical HRTEM micrograph of an iron-oxide/aluminum thermite nanocomposite xerogel is shown in Fig. 1(a) and shows an interconnected iron-oxide solid skeleton with cluster sizes considerably smaller, about one order of magnitude, than the 30 nm aluminum fuel particles. The larger spherical particles in the TEM photo are the UFG aluminum, whereas the smaller particles throughout the image are the iron oxide xerogel clusters. The fuel particles tended to aggregate but intimate mixing of the fuel and the oxidizing skeleton is still observed throughout all regions interrogated, and we anticipate better homogeneity as we improve our control of gel time and mixing of fuel prior to gelation. The identities of the large spherical aluminum particles in Fig. l(a) were confirmed by their selected area electron diffraction pattern (SAED) (Fig. I(b». We believe that the light colored ring around each aluminum particle is the aluminum oxide coating. It appears as though the thickness of the oxide layer is ",,5 nm.
The results of nitrogen adsorption/desorption analysis for the Fe203 oxidizing skeletons are given in Table I. The BET surface areas for iron oxide ranged from 300 to 390 m2/ g depending on the precursor salt used in the synthesis. The results indicate that high surface area metal oxides that contain pores with nanometer-sized dimensions can be prepared by our sol-gel method.
Fig. I. (a) HRTEM of Fe20J/UFG AI(s) xerogel nanocomposite and (b) SAED pattern of the labeled AI particle in (a).

°19_ _ _ _ _
342 T M. Tillo/son et al. / Journal of Non-Crystalline Solids 285 (2001) 338-345
Table I Summary of N, adsorption/desorption results for dry Fe,O, gels made in ethanol
Gel type Precursor salt Surface area (BET) (m' /g) Pore volume (ml/g) Average pore diameter (mm)
Xerogel Fe\NOJ)J ·9H,O 300 0.22 2.6 Aerogel Fe(NOJlJ ·9H,O 340 1.25 12 Aerogel FeCh ·6H20 390 3.75 23
Table 2 Summary of small-scale safety tests for sol-gel derived FezOJ/AI(s) nanocomposites
Test Fe,03/AI (/lm size) Fe20J/UFG AI FezOJ/UFG AI XerogeJ Xerogel Aerogel
DHiO 125.6 cm 149.3 cm ~.3~
Spark None at I J None at I J Y9~O~3J
Friction None at 36 kg None at 36 kg None at 36 kg

Small-scale safety testing was performed on several of the materials prepared in this report the results of which are shown in Table 2. The DHso value represents the height from which dropping a
2.5 kg weight will result in an explosive event in 50% of the trials. All three materials are sensitive to the drop hammer test. However, the values for all three of the materials are relatively high and indicate that none is very sensitive to impact stimuli. None of the three is friction sensitive and only the aerogel Fe203/UFG Al sample is spark sensitive. Please note that it is spark sensitive at a test energy of only 0.03 J whereas the other materials are not even sensitive at I J. In light of this result, we strongly recommend that when handling the aerogel Fe203/UFG Al(s) material procedures and conditions that minimize static electricity build up should be rigorously employed.
Differential scanning calorimetry was performed on several of the Fe203/Al(s) nanocomposites that we prepared. A DSC trace from a xerogel of Fe203/UFG Al(s) is shown in Fig. 3. One can see that the DSC is essentially featureless at temperatures less than 500°C. Above that temperature is a large exothermic peak that dominates the trace. The exotherm is centered at about 530°C and has an integrated heat of reaction of 1.5 kJ/g. The products from this DSC analysis were recovered and analyzed by powder X-ray diffraction (PXRD).
The powder pattern of the products from the DSC run shown in Fig. 3 are shown in Fig. 4, along with the known PXRD patterns for Fe(s) and two different phases of Ah03(s) [21]. The broad peak centered at ",28° is from the quartz slide sample holder. The poor signal to noise ratio is due to the small amount of sample used. There is good agreement, in both position and relative intensity, between the known standards and the products of the heating of the Fe203/UFG AI(s) nanocomposite. It appears that the PXRD pattern in Fig. 4 contains diffraction peaks from a mixture of crystalline iron metal an aluminum oxide. These products are the predicted products if the nanocomposite undergoes the thermite reaction.
4. Discussion
The HRTEM and nitrogen adsorption/desorption analysis indicate the sol-gel derived oxidizer skeleton and energetic composites materials are indeed nanocomposites. It is well known, for a given bulk density, that decreasing the reactant particle size increases the combustion rate [1-3]. This was one of our primary motivations for using sol-gel methodologies. The HRTEM results given here show that small, intimately dispersed reactants are possible with this approach. The HRTEM micrograph shown in Fig. I also allows us to speculate on the effect that the sol-gel synthesis and processing conditions have on the aluminum fuel.

°20 _ _ _ _ _
According to Fig. I it appears as though the thickness of the oxide layer on the AI(s) fuel is ~ 5 nm. This is in reasonable agreement with the thickness of the oxide layer determined previously, using more rigorous methods, by the researchers at LANL [22]. This result indicates that our sol-gel processing at low solution pH does not result in significant additional oxidation of the UFG aluminum. In fact, there was very little, if any increase in the thickness of the aluminum oxide layer on the particles. The AI(s) particles were more agglomerated than we had initially assumed they would be. For an ideal nanocomposite one would like to see individual particles of UFG aluminum suspended in the nanostructured iron oxide matrix.
We are currently investigating the preparation of such a material. It is possible that techniques such as ultrasonication in a liquid suspension may help deflocculate the UFG aluminum particles. Nonetheless, the composites made by this method are readily ignited, using a thermal source, as is demonstrated in Fig. 2. This qualitative result clearly indicates these materials are energetic and that they can release that energy rapidly (i.e., have good power). To obtain more quantitative information about the reaction shown in Fig. 2 we performed detained thermal analysis ofit. Analysis of the DSC trace shown in Fig. 3 indicates that the composites made here are indeed energetic. Integration of the exothermic peak in Fig. 3 resulted in a heat of reaction value of 1.5 kJ/g. This is significantly lower than the theoretical value of 3.9
Fig. 2. Photo of the thermal ignition of an energetic nanocomposite.
Temperature (C)
Fig. 3. DSC ofaxerogel Fe"OJ/UFG AI(s) nanocomposite.
kJ/g. One potential explanation involves the aluminum fuel itself. We know from HRTEM analysis that the UFG Al used in this sample has an oxide coating of ",5 nm. With 30 nm diameter Al this oxide coating represents a large amount of the mass of the sample. In fact, a simple calculation, based on the volume of the oxide coating, indicates that the UFG aluminum used is actually 70% Ab03 weight. In addition, although the reactants are combined in quantities designed to optimize reaction stoichiometry, this assumes that all of the iron salt will be converted exclusively to Fe20,. From elemental analysis we have observed that these materials have organic impurities that make up "" I0% of the sample by mass [23]. It is likely that the impurities are due to residual solvent and/ or epoxide or epoxide by-products from the synthesis. All of these facts undoubtedly contribute to a reduction in the total energy measured.
To verify that the reaction observed in Figs. 2 and 3 was indeed the thermite reaction the solid products from the DSC analysis reaction were analyzed using PXRD. The pattern of these products is shown in Fig. 4. The major constituents identified were metallic Fe and AhO" which are the expected products if the thermite reaction had occurred.

°21 _ _ _ _ _
344 T M. Til!o[s(J/1 el ul. I lOIll'nul or Non-Crysll1l!ine Solids 285 (2UU1) 338-345
Fig. 4. PXRD pattern of the products from the DSC experiment shown in Fig. 3.
We are presently quantitatively evaluating the burn rates for a series of conventional thennite mixtures, Fe203(S)/UFG AI(s) energetic nanocomposites, and Fe203(S)/AI(s) (micron-sized) energetic nanocomposites. Although the results of these tests were not available at the time of writing, qualitatively, the Fe203(S)/UFG AI(s) energetic nanocomposites appear to burn much more rapidly and are more sensitive to thermal ignition than conventional thennite powders. This is not unexpected as the ignition threshold of UFG aluminum powders depends upon its physical particle morphology [22].
Not as clear however, is the observation that aerogel composites are much more sensitive to thermal ignition than their xerogel counterparts. In fact, aerogel composites made with UFG Al(s) showed spark sensitivity in small-scale safety experiments and had significantly lower drop hammer (DHso ) values ("-' 150 cm for xerogels and ",,90 cm for aerogel materials). More sensitive materials can be an advantage from the perspective of performance but a disadvantage in safety concerns. We believe the reason for the stark difference in reactivity between the two materials has to do with their different thermal conductivities. It is well known that the thermal conductivity of an aerogel is much lower than that ofaxerogel of the same material [24]. Therefore, an aerogel composite will have a more difficult time dissipating a thermal stress than a xerogel composite. This likely results in the more rapid formation of 'hot spots' in the aerogel material, at a given temperature. Once one
of the hot spots reaches the ignition point the reaction is self-propagating and the entire composite is ignited.
In spite of the above observation, sol-gel methodology offers other advantages of safety and stability in energetic material processing. For example, ambient temperature gelation and low temperature drying schemes prevent degradation, and the water-like viscosity of the sol before gelation, allows easy casting to near-net-shapes, which is preferred over the hazardous machining alternative. The commercial production of thermites, mixing and pressing sub-micron powders of iron oxide and aluminum, is particularly hazardous with a long history of accidental explosions [25,26]. Increased safety could be achieved by using an aqueous medium for the sol-gel reactions, as described in procedures we have previously reported [20]. This last point is also important from an environmental safety aspect as current largescale production of some pyrotechnics require the use of toxic, flammable, and carcinogenic solvents like acetone, hexane, and hexachlorobenzene [27].
One final note, the sol-gel approach also allows the relatively simple incorporation of other metal oxides into the matrix to make a mixed-metaloxide material. Dilution of the thermitic material with inert oxides such as Ah03 (from dissolved Alel3 salt) or Si02 (from added silicon alkoxide) leads to a pyrotechnic material that is not as energetic as a pure iron(III)-oxide-aluminum mixture. We have performed such syntheses and noted that again, qualitatively, the resulting pyrotechnics have noticeably slower burn rates and are less energetic [25]. This type of synthetic control should allow the chemist to tailor the pyrotechnic's burn and spectral properties to fit a desired application.
5. Conclusions
Here we have demonstrated the use of a sol-gel method to prepare both aerogel and xerogel monoliths of Fe203/Al(s) energetic nanocomposites. Characterization has shown that these materials are made up of nanosized components, that are energetic, and undergo the traditional thermite

°22_ _ _ _ _

TM. Tillotson et al. / Journal oj Non-Crystalline Solids 285 (2001) 338-345
reaction. All quantitative and qualitative charac
terization indicates that the aerogel composites are
more sensitive to ignition than their xerogel
Energetic nanocomposites, with controlled oxidizer-fuel balances on the nanometer scale, are easily and reproducibly prepared using sol-gel chemistries. Microstructural controL unattainable by state-of-the-art composite processing,' and precise oxidizer-fuel balance, not possible with current monomolecular synthesis, are major advantages. Essentially, sol-gel methodologies are helping bridge the gap between these two approaches. We believe that the sol-gel method will at the very least provide processing advantages over conventional methods in the areas of cost, purity, homogeneity, and safety and potentially yield energetic materials with interesting and special properties.
This work is really the combined effort of a large number of research groups.The authors would like to thank Drs John Holzrichter and Rokaya AI-Ayat for their enthusiastic support in backing this project. Other contributors from the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory include: Mr Mark Wall for the TEM analysis, Mr Randy Weese for the thermal analyses, Ms Suzy Hulsey for the BET analysis. Dr Joe Martin, formerly of the Los Alamos National Laboratory, provided the nanometer scale aluminum. Finally, we would like to thank Dr Gudrun Reichenauer of the University of Wurzburg who provided helpful discussions on all the results.
[II E.A. Balakir, Yu.G. Bushuev, N.A. Bareskov, A.E. Kos
yakin, Yu.V. Kudryavtsev. O.N. Fedorova, Combust.
Explos. Shock Waves 11 (1975) 36 (English Translation).
[21 A.S. Dubrovin, Y.L Kuznetsov, Y.I. Ezikov, N.A. Chirkov, LN. Rusakov, Russ. Metal. 5 (1968) 56.
[3] A.S. Dubrovin, LV. Slepova, V.L Kuznetsov, Combust. Explos. Shock Waves 6 (1970) 60 (English Translation).
[4] w.e Danen, 1.A. Martin, UK Patent 2,260,317,1993.
[5] w.e Danen, 1.A. Martin, US Patent 5,266.132, 1993
[6] G.P. Dixon, 1.A. Martin, D. Thompson, US Patent 5,717,159,1998.
[7] T.M. Tillotson, LW. Hrubesh, R.S. Lee. R.W. Swanslger.
R.L Simpson, 1. Non-Cryst. Solids 225 (1998) 358.
[8] R.L Simpson, T.M. Tillotson, LW. Hrubesh, A.E. Gash, in: Proceedings of the International Annual Conference on ICT, Karlsruhe, 2000, p. 1.
[9] A.J. Key, Aust. Weld. 1. (Autumn 1985) 15.
[IOI ZA Munir, U. Anselmi-Tamburini, Mater. Sci. Rep. 3 (1989) 277.
[II] 1.D. Walton Jr., N.E. Poulos, 1. Am. Ceram. Soc. 42 (1959)
[12] G.B. Schaffer, P.G. McCormick, AppL Phys. Lett. 55 (1989) 45.
[13] A.G. Strunina. TM. Martemyanova. V.V. Barzykin. V.I. Ermakov, Combust. Explos. Shock Waves 10 (1974) 449 (English Translation).
[141 S.Y. Kostin, A.G. Strunina, V.V. Barzykin. Combust. Explos. Shock Waves 18 (1982) 524 (English Translation). [151 E.I. Maksimov, A.G. Merzhanov, V.M. Shkior, Combust. Explos. Shock Waves 2 (1965) 15 (English Translation).
[16] M.L Spector, E. Surani, G.L Stukenbrocker, Ind. Eng. Chern. Process Des. Dev. 7 (1968) 117.
[17] 1.H. McLain, Pyrotechnics: From the Viewpoint of Solid State Chemistry, Franklin. Philadelphia, PA, 1980. p. I.
[18] A.e Munger, 1.H. Mohler, M.D. Kelly. in: Proceedings of the VIn International Pyrotechnics Seminar, 1982,
p. 496.
[191 TM. Tillotson. WE Sunderland, I.M. Thomas, LW. Hrubesh. 1. Sol-Gel. Sci. Techno!. I (1994) 241.
[20] AE Gash, TM. Tillotson. 1.H. Satcher Jr., 1.F. Poco. LW. Hrubesh, R.L Simpson, Chern. Mater. 13 (2001) 999.
[21] U. Schertmann, R.M. Cornell, in: Iron Oxides in the Laboratory: Preparation and Characterization, VCH, Weinheim, 1991.
[22] eE. Aumann, G.L Skofronick, 1.A. Martin, 1. Vac. Sci. Techno!. B I3 (1995) 1178.
[23] Unpublished results.
[24] el. Brinker, G.W. Scherer, in: Sol-Gel Science. Academic Press, Boston, 1990.
[25] N. Gibson, F.e Lloyd. G.R. Perry, Inst. Chern Eng. Symp. Ser. 25 (1968) 26.
[26] K. Banizs, S. Szabo, 1. Papp, Magy. Alum. 22 (1985)
[27] Strategic Environmental Research and Development Program Home Page., February 2000.

On top of the Truth

I agree emphatically with Dave Nehring about the importance of this information. It seems to me that these records would be good additions to "Journal of 911 Studies" and also the "AE911Truth" site.

Thanks Aidan. The correlations are indeed impressive.

Aidan, you are amazing.

Great job again.

Thank you.

More info on this topic...

Over at the BBC, I was participating in a discussion on one of their blogs (until it was shut down recently).

On that blog another poster managed to dig up some information on nanothermite. (these are just some of the more recent posts on the topic, they were mentioned earlier as well)

From post #5512;

"- The existence of nanothermite production facility at US Navy's Indian Head facility (just outside of Washington)
- Cost and timing of these production facilities built in the 1990s
- Job adverts for these facilities
- Conferences before Sept 2001 where the versatility of nanothermite was discussed
- articles on the military "energetic" uses of nano-materials
- evidence that the only other known nanothermite production facility, the SNPE facility (located next to the AZF factory) (in France) blowing up 10 days after 9/11 - blowing out every window in Toulose! This explosion was blamed on a Muslim that had started worked at the facility just 5 days earlier."

and expanded upon at post #5518

"The edges of the subject area are all there:

And as for US Navy's Indian Head


A discussion on the AZF / SNPE explosion and its links with Harrit's nanothermite paper (!) is provided here (with lots of links so you can check the facts). "

and further at post #5541

"It was just one of thousands of links to nano-material research:

Within it, it says:

"A major effort is also underway to develop a suite of codes for use in predicting the response of energetic materials in weapon systems subjected to thermal and mechanical insult. The objective is to reduce the number and cost of the current go/no-go insensitive munitions test protocols required to qualify a new system for military use and to improve our understanding of the physical mechanisms and safety margins.
A collaborative effort with the Navy was initiated to experimentally assess and validate codes for use in predicting the response of weapon systems including the violence of reaction in cookoff accidents. Quantitative data on cookoff violence have been generated by both the Navy in small-scale experiments and by DOE in the scaled thermal explosion experiments. Data on both HMX based explosives and PBX-109 have been obtained for use in establishing the accuracy and range of validity of the predictive models. The measured properties were used this year to successfully predict the time to explosion in cookoff tests performed by the Navy. In order to preserve and transition the energetic materials technology generated under this program, two explosives databases have been distributed to government laboratories and contractors. One database, HEAT1, contains over 3,000 chemical structures, and is a compilation of measured heats of formation for a wide range of organic molecules of interest to researchers in the weapons community. A second database is APEX, A Pure Explosives Database. This database contains over 500 energetic materials of different molecular structure to guide the synthesis of new materials and ensure the retention of important characterization data."

Therefore this paper supports the many statements we have made elsewhere about the "tailorability" of explosives to particular circumstances. There is evidence that the US military who invest billions of your tax dollars into "energetic" research each year, has capacities way above your and my, common knowledge of explosives. This is not fantasy on my part.

As I said earlier, every CD has a noise abatement strategy and WTC7 would be no different. There is plenty of opportunity to suppression explosive sounds too. The very spooky SANDIA organisation also published a paper on explosive noise suppression in August 2001. The document is getting increasing more difficult to track down. Hmm.!horizon&view=subscriptionsummary&uri=full=3100018~!173126~!1&ri=1&aspect=basic_search&menu=search&ipp=20&spp=20&staffonly=&&aspect=basic_search&menu=search&ri=1osti_id=786634 "

and at #5542...

"Just a follow up on "cookoff violence". This is another way of saying the nature of the explosion. This is required for rocket fuels, for instance, where the rocket fuel needs to be used up smoothly and completely for maximum efficently. It is also require for munitions.

You are familiar with thermite which is used for cutting and doesn't explode or "runaway". Essentially, there is a ton of experiments to determine different compounds ability to release energy for either cutting, propelling (as in rocket fuel) or exploding. And the key to all this is nano-materials.

There are reams of studies such as this on the web...
"A potential method to mitigate cook-off violence of heavily confined explosives is to add a minor ingredient that reacts at temperatures below where cook off usually occurs, to burst the confinement and/or interfere with the thermal decomposition chemistry of the explosive so to slow subsequent reactions, This additive would not - impact the explosive's performance significantly, but only comes into play during relatively slow thermal heating..." "

or older post like at #4400

"If you want more than the one liners from wikipedia then try this:

"Military nanotechnology: high precision explosives through nanoscale structuring

.... Official sources keep quite mum though about military research into offensive nanotechnology applications. For instance, in the above-mentioned DoD report the words "explosive", "ammunition" or "bomb" don't appear even once. Does that mean the military is not researching nanotechnology applications for more effective ways of blowing stuff up, or are they just being tight-lipped about it? Your guess...
Of course there is plenty of potential for offensive military nanotechnology applications.
Case in point of how nanotechnology could be used for offensive military applications can be found in recent studies exploring how high explosive materials can be prepared and manipulated. Engineering and control of energetic material (another, more innocent sounding term for 'explosives') properties at the nanoscale are of paramount importance when the ignition and detonation properties of high explosives are to be determined.
Last year for instance, researchers presented methods for making continuous high explosives thin films and arbitrary high explosives patterns at the nanoscale ("Patterning High Explosives at the Nanoscale").
Another, more recent example is a study by French scientists who report the first attempt to control the combustion and the detonation properties of a high explosive through its structure.
Writing in the journal Nanotechnology, researchers from the Laboratoire ISL/CNRS 'Nanomatériaux pour les Systèmes Sous Sollicitations Extrêmes' at the French–German Research Institute of Saint-Louis in France describe that they have prepared energetic nanocomposites with different formulations by infiltrating a porous chromium oxide matrix with a high explosive dissolved in acetone ("Preparation of explosive nanoparticles in a porous chromium(III) oxide matrix: a first attempt to control the reactivity of explosives"). The scientists claim that their method allows one to obtain and stabilize high explosive particles at the nanoscale.
The ISL scientists write that, until now, the only way to tune the explosive reactivity was to mix several chemicals in order to obtain a composition with the right properties. The idea reported in this paper – adjusting the reactive properties through the structure of the explosive – appears much neater.
(Description of nano-explosion and photos)
This is the first time that a nano explosion (of course the authors describe this in more scientific terms as "the incidence of the decomposition of an explosive at the nanoscale") has been imaged in such detail.
Because the stabilization of high explosives by porous materials allows controlling their reactivity, practical applications of this research will make it possible to design energetic materials according to precise needs. The ISL scientists say that, for instance, the formulation of gun powders or propellants can be adjusted so as to avoid detonation and to define the combustion rate. Conversely, this process can be used to tune the detonation velocity of high explosives.

More bang for the buck, so to speak. "

It seems the leaders for nano-explosives are the french... and not the Navy Indian Head Division..."

and at 4057

"The 221st National Meeting of the American Chemical Society
held during April 2001 in San Diego featured a symposium on
Defense Applications of Nanomaterials.


"Nanoenergetic composites and ingredients can be used in the ignition, propulsion, as well as the warhead part of the weapon. With regards to the latter application, nanoenergetics hold promise as useful ingredients
for the thermobaric (TBX) and TBX-like weapons, particularly due to their high degree of tailorability with regards to energy release and impulse management."

Impulse Management means that using nanothermite would reduce vibration and, more importantly, sound!"

and at 3553

"At wikipedia - not exactly the truther's friend - the article refers out to the US Navy Indian Head Division which is interested in "energetics" - the photo on their website shows you what they mean by energetics. Strangely enough they do not say what is in their explosives...

However, it surf the web enough you will find that they are looking for physicists and chemists to help them build more energetic material and you can find this:

"Postdoctoral Associates

The Indian Head Division of the Naval Surface Warfare Center, located in Charles County, Maryland 25 miles south of Washington, DC invites applications for postdoctoral positions for self motivated physicists and chemists in the field of energetic material research. The positions will be under the Research and Technology Department (Code R1) that houses 30 PhD scientists working on a broad range of topics related to synthesis and characterization of novel energetic materials, and ultrafast diagnostics of explosive processes. More details on the scope of work can be found at ... The postdoctoral positions require knowledge in any of the following: inorganic/organometallic synthesis with emphasis on nanoscale materials, molecular self-assembly, thermite and intermetallic systems, organic synthesis, fast combustion, ultrafast spectroscopy, shock and detonation physics, chemical and mechanical properties of explosives that affect sensitivity, and molecular dynamics modeling. Demonstrated expertise through journal publications, presentations or patents is essential. Experience with (in red)energetic materials is advantageous. Applicants must have a Ph.D. degree in physics or chemistry and must meet requirements of a security clearance including U.S. citizenship."

QED: nano-thermite used in explosives and known about in Navy establishment just a few miles outside of the capital..."

Very Timely

I just mentioned nanothermite to a friend who is a engineer....He replied to me that as far as he knew nanothermite had not even been invented at the time of the attacks.
Now I have something to show him!
Thanks so much for this work/

MIT: Military reloads with Nanotechnology

From January 2005
"The advantage (of using nanometals) is in how fast you can get their energy out," Son says.

Son says that the chemical reactions of superthermites are faster and therefore release greater amounts of energy more rapidly.

"Superthermites can increase the (chemical) reaction time by a thousand times," Son says, resulting in a very rapid reactive wave.

Nanotechnology is very much a fact. Steven Son knows quite a bit about it.

AAA I like that article,

AAA I like that article, especially the sub-title of the article;

"Smaller. Cheaper. Nastier. Those are the guiding principles behind the military's latest bombs. The secret ingredient: nanotechnology that makes for a bigger boom"

Those JREF'ers will be disappointed to have their gurus proven wrong it was said many times in the various nanothermite threads over there that reducing the size does not make it more powerful in any sense of the word.

LOL, they are proven wrong yet again.

Recent Headline??

No disrespect to Rosie O, but Is there any reason why this isn't listed under the recent headlines banner at the left of the web page?

Visit for analysis and commentary on 9/11.