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X-ray Emission Spectroscopy of Nitrogen-Rich Compounds

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posted on 21.04.2011, 00:00 authored by Fernando D. Vila, Terrence Jach, W. T. Elam, John J. Rehr, J. D. Denlinger
Nonresonant X-ray emission spectroscopy was used to compare the nitrogen-rich compounds ammonium nitrate, trinitrotoluene, and cyclotrimethylene−trinitramine. They are representative of crystalline and molecular structures of special importance in industrial and military applications. The spectral signature of each substance was analyzed and correlated with features in the electronic structure of the systems. This analysis was accomplished by means of theoretical simulations of the emission spectra and a detailed examination of the molecular orbitals and densities of states. We find that the two theoretical methods used (frozen-orbital density functional theory and real-space Green’s function simulations) account semiquantitatively for the observed spectra and are able to predict features arising from distinct chemical complexes. A comparison of the calculations and the data provides insight into the electronic contributions of specific molecular orbitals, as well as the features due to bandlike behavior. With some additional refinements, these methods could be used as an alternative to reference compounds.

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