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The NS3E laboratory owns a range of characterization devices. Moreover, its implantation inside the ISL also allows access to other techniques shared with other groups or even developed in-house.

Physical and chemical characterization

Some of the available characterization techniques are:

- Scanning probe microscopy: AFM, STM
- Nanocalorimetry
- Thermal analysis: TGA, DSC under various atmospheres
- Optical microscopy, including fluorescence imaging and non-contact topography
- Particle size and zeta potential measurement by DLS
- Raman spectromicroscopy
- FT-IR spectroscopy
- Scanning Electron Microscopy
- Wide-angle X-ray diffraction

For detection and trace analysis, the lab has a gas chromatograph with a mass spectrometer and an electron capture detector (GC/MS/µ-ECD).

Pyrotechnical sensitivity

Pyrotechnical sensitivity tests
Pyrotechnical sensitivity tests
Impact (left), friction (center) and electrostatic discharge (ESD, right) testing device.

Reactive characterization of energetic materials

For analyzing energetic reactions, a variety of high-speed metrology techniques are available.

- Ultrafast cameras (up to 50,000 images per second)
- Movable-slit camera for characterizing detonations
- Detonation velocity measurement with ionization probes

For nanothermites, an innovative technique called Time-Resolved Cinematography (CRT, see below) has been set up with the Laser Applications group (OAL). The material is initiated by a CO2 laser, and its combustion is recorded simultaneously by high-speed video and with an oscilloscope and photodiode. This allows measuring the combustion velocity and ignition delay time.

Scheme of the TRC experiment
Scheme of the TRC experiment
© 2010 American Chemical Society.