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Reactive Molecular Dynamics Simulation of Solid Nitromethane Impact on (010) Surfaces Induced and Nonimpact Thermal Decomposition

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journal contribution
posted on 21.02.2016, 14:44 by Feng Guo, Xin-lu Cheng, Hong Zhang
Which is the first step in the decomposition process of nitromethane is a controversial issue, proton dissociation or C–N bond scission. We applied reactive force field (ReaxFF) molecular dynamics to probe the initial decomposition mechanisms of nitromethane. By comparing the impact on (010) surfaces and without impact (only heating) for nitromethane simulations, we found that proton dissociation is the first step of the pyrolysis of nitromethane, and the C–N bond decomposes in the same time scale as in impact simulations, but in the nonimpact simulation, C–N bond dissociation takes place at a later time. At the end of these simulations, a large number of clusters are formed. By analyzing the trajectories, we discussed the role of the hydrogen bond in the initial process of nitromethane decompositions, the intermediates observed in the early time of the simulations, and the formation of clusters that consisted of C–N–C–N chain/ring structures.