Explosive Decomposition of Tetramethyldioxetane in the Solid Phase: Potential for a High Density Short Wavelength Chemical Laser

  • M. A. Tolbert
  • M. N. Spencer
  • D. L. Huestis
  • M. J. Rossi
Part of the Springer Proceedings in Physics book series (SPPHY, volume 15)


3,3,4,4-Tetramethyl-1,2-dioxetane (TMD) is an energetic compound whose exothermic decomposition results in a high yield of electronically excited products according to reaction (1)
$${\rm{TMD}}\,\, \to \,\,0.5\,{\,^3}{{\rm{A}}^*}\,\, + \,\,1.5\,\,{{\rm{A}}_0},$$
where 3A* and A0 are electronically excited acetone in its lowest (metastable) triplet state and in the ground state, respectively.[1,2] The decompostion of TMD to form two moles of ground-state acetone is exothermic by 65 kcal/mol. This corresponds to an internal energy content of 2344 J/g for TMD, a value that is comparable to that of a medium grade dynamite.[3] The fact that the yield metastable triplet acetone is high, 30–50%, coupled with a low gas-phase activation energy for reaction (1), 27 kcal/mol, makes TMD a promising candidate pulsed chemical laser.


Energetic Compound Chemical Laser Exothermic Decomposition Explosive Decomposition Chain Carrier 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. A. Tolbert
    • 1
  • M. N. Spencer
    • 1
  • D. L. Huestis
    • 1
  • M. J. Rossi
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Chemical Kinetics, Chemical Physics LaboratorySRI InternationalUSA

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