Formamidinium Nitroformate: An Insensitive RDX Alternative

Five nitroformate (trinitromethanide) salts featuring nitrogen-containing cations were prepared. The salts were characterized by multinuclear NMR, IR, and Raman spectroscopy, single-crystal X-ray analysis, differential thermal analysis, and friction and impact sensitivity testing. These experimental data are supplemented with thermochemical calculations using the Gaussian-4 composite method, and the performance of these energetic materials was calculated based on the Chapman–Jouguet thermodynamic detonation theory. Out of the five compounds studied by us, the formamidinium salt, [CH­(NH2)2]+[C­(NO2)3], is most interesting. Its performance matches that of RDX (research department explosive, cyclo­trimethylene­trinitramine), while it is much less sensitive to impact and friction and, therefore, might be an excellent, less sensitive replacement for RDX.