Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Physics


Physics and Astronomy

Advisor 1

Michael Pravica, Committee Chair

First Committee Member

Lon Spight

Second Committee Member

Stephen Lepp

Graduate Faculty Representative

Clemens Heske

Number of Pages



Static high-pressure experiments utilizing diamond anvil cells (DACs) provide an alternative method to shockwave studies for extracting precise information on the physical and chemical properties of energetic materials. Due to mechanical restraints (e.g. small sample sizes and apertures), synchrotron radiation sources are ideal for probing the structure of materials at the molecular level. 1,3,5-triamino-2,4,6-trinitrobenzene (TATB) is an insensitive (tertiary) high explosive (iHE) useful in military applications. Compared to other conventional iHEs, it is a safer and more stable energetic material. Its unique properties cause it to be of interest in the energetic materials research community. A series of Fourier-transform infrared experiments were performed on TATB under high pressure conditions (to 35 GPa) at the National Synchrotron Light Source (NSLS). These results demonstrate that there is no strong evidence for a phase transition in TATB in the studied pressure range. The behavior of NH 2 vibrational modes at high pressure suggests that hydrogen bonding is a reason for the increased insensitivity and stability of TATB. Additionally, low intensity features in the vibrational spectra indicate that subtle structural and/or chemical changes warrant further investigation and analysis.


1; 3; 5-triamino-2; 4; 6-trinitrobenzene (TATB); Diamond anvil cells (DACs); Insensitive high explosives (iHE); Fourier Transform Infrared (FT-IR) Spectroscopy; High pressure; Hydrogen bonding; Phase transitions


Condensed Matter Physics

File Format


Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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