Electroplating of Aluminum Thin Layer on Metal-oxide Nanowires/plates for Energetic Applications

Z. Dong, J.F. Al-Sharab, B.H. Kear, S.D. Tse
Rutgers University, US

Keywords: coaxial nanowire, aluminum electrodeposition, thermite, tungsten-oxide nanowire

Summary:

Coaxial nanowires array comprising of tungsten-oxide (WO2.9) nanowires (diameters of 20-50 nm and lengths of >10 µm) coated with aluminum thin film (thickness of ~16 nm) has been produced by using a novel combined flame and electrodeposition synthesis method. The outer Al layer (growth direction of [110] and [1 0]) is grown directly on the surface of WO2.9 nanowire forming an atomically abrupt interface. Also, the interfacial Al2O3 passivation layer between the aluminum and metal-oxide is strategically eliminated. Such kind of coaxial nanowire (thermite composite) shows a promising direction for the optimization of heat release characteristics caused by anisotropic arrangement of metallic fuel and metal-oxide oxidizer. In this work, the ignition and combustion of as-obtained thermite arrays are also investigated, showing strong exothermicity. Furthermore, such nano-thermite composite would be very useful for the fundamental study of aluminothermic reactions, as well as enhancing combustion characteristics.