Journal of Materials Science

, Volume 26, Issue 8, pp 2199–2207 | Cite as

Rapid mass spectrometric analysis of fragments of trinitrotoluene, picric acid and tetryl generated by laser irradiation

  • V. C. Jyothi Bhasu
  • M. Munawar Chaudhri
  • J. Housden


Experiments have been made in which single crystals of nitroaromatic explosives such as trinitrotoluene, picric acid and tetryl were irradiated with a focused laser beam of wavelength 266 nm and of duration of ∼5 n sec in an ultra-high vacuum system housing a sensitive and fast (microsecond time resolution) time-of-flight mass spectrometer. Both positive and negative ions of the products of decomposition were mass-analysed and it has been possible to propose the decomposition schemes of the different explosives. An important finding is that the substituents on the phenyl ring do not affect the breakdown schemes of the different explosives. This has important implications for understanding the different impact sensitivities of these explosives.


Explosive Laser Irradiation Phenyl Ring Spectrometric Analysis Mass Spectrometric Analysis 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Chapman and Hall Ltd. 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • V. C. Jyothi Bhasu
    • 1
  • M. Munawar Chaudhri
    • 1
  • J. Housden
    • 2
  1. 1.PCS, Cavendish LaboratoryUniversity of CambridgeCambridgeUK
  2. 2.Department of Materials Science and MetallurgyUniversity of Cambridge, New Museums SiteCambridgeUK

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