Nanoscale thermal analysis of an energetic material

William P. King, Shubham Saxena, Brent A Nelson, Brandon L. Weeks, Rajasekar Pitchimani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

99 Scopus citations


A nanoscale thermal analysis on a polycrystalline energetic material, pentaerythritol tetranitrate (PETN), was performed using a heated atomic force microscope cantilever tip. Energetic materials are those materials that exhibit a release of stored chemical energy as thermal and mechanical energies. Both the heating and thermometry occurred in the solid-sate resistors at the base of the cantilever tips. Local thermal decomposition with a heated probe tip provided a unique method of controlling both the side and spatial resolution of voids in energetic materials. It is possible to measure thermophysical properties of a material surface by measuring both heat flow and temperature. The ability to manipulate the micro/nanostructure of polycrystalline materials could be used to study properties such as diffusion rates, phase transitions, and perform lithography in a wide variety of nanomaterials.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2145-2149
Number of pages5
JournalNano Letters
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2006
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Chemistry (miscellaneous)

Cite this

King, W. P., Saxena, S., Nelson, B. A., Weeks, B. L., & Pitchimani, R. (2006). Nanoscale thermal analysis of an energetic material. Nano Letters, 6(9), 2145-2149.