Al/Fe203 energetic composites based on nanowire arrays



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Texas Tech University


Energetic materials consist of a mixture of oxidizer and fuel components, which when ignited release a large amount of energy due to an exothermic reaction. In this thesis, we demonstrate nanocomposite materials consisting of aluminum and iron oxide in close physical contact. The fabrication method is based on the use of nanoporous alumina membranes. These are aluminum oxide membranes consisting of cylindrical nanosized pores. Using such membranes, Fe nanowires are prepared by electrodeposition. The Fe wires are eventually oxidized to Fe oxide and a thin layer of aluminum film is deposited by means of thermal evaporation. In effect, Fe oxide nanowires act as oxidizer while Al film acts as fiiel in our nanocomposite. The complete fabrication process for the nanocomposite is described and the demonstration of ignition is discussed.