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Proceedings Paper

Waveguide sensor for detection of HNS degradation
Author(s): M. Kathleen Alam; Laura Martin; Thomas E. Beechem; Randal L. Schmitt; Gregory A. Ten Eyck
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Paper Abstract

Hexanitrostilbene (HNS) is a secondary explosive widely used in a variety of commercial and military applications, due in part to its high heat resistivity. Degradation of HNS is known to occur through exposure to a variety of sources including heat, UV radiation, and certain chemical compounds, all of which may lead to reduced performance. Detecting the degradation of HNS within a device, however, has required destructive analyses of the entire device while probing the HNS in only an indirect fashion. Specifically, the common methods of investigating this degradation include wet chemical, surface area and performance testing of the devices incorporating HNS rather than a direct interrogation of the material itself. For example, chemical tests frequently utilized, such as volatility, conductivity, and contaminant trapping, provide information on contaminants present in the system rather than the chemical stability of the HNS. To instead probe the material directly, we have pursued the use of optical methods, in particular infrared (IR) spectroscopy, in order to assess changes within the HNS itself. In addition, by successfully implementing miniature silicon (Si) waveguides fabricated at Sandia National Laboratories to facilitate this spectroscopic approach, we have demonstrated that HNS degradation monitoring may take place in a non-destructive, in-situ fashion. Furthermore, as these waveguides may be manufactured in a variety of configurations, this direct, non-destructive, approach holds promise for incorporation into a variety of devices.

Paper Details

Date Published: 28 August 2009
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 7434, Optical Technologies for Arming, Safing, Fuzing, and Firing V, 743406 (28 August 2009); doi: 10.1117/12.826066
Show Author Affiliations
M. Kathleen Alam, Sandia National Labs. (United States)
Laura Martin, Sandia National Labs. (United States)
Thomas E. Beechem, Sandia National Labs. (United States)
Randal L. Schmitt, Sandia National Labs. (United States)
Gregory A. Ten Eyck, Sandia National Labs. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7434:
Optical Technologies for Arming, Safing, Fuzing, and Firing V
Fred M. Dickey; Richard A. Beyer, Editor(s)

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