Science & Technology

Scientists create energetic compounds with isotope labels

Ana Racoveanu uses isotope labels to synthesize high-energy compounds for safe handling and use of ammunition. Credit: Julie Russell / LLNL

Ana Racoveanu can do things that most other people can’t do across a nuclear security company. This is rewarding and very valuable throughout the complex.


Racoveanu, a staff scientist in the Materials Sciences Division at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, can use isotope labels to synthesize high-energy compounds.

The main goal of this task is to ensure that ammunition is handled and used safely. Isotopic labeling is the replacement of certain types of atoms, such as nitrogen, with nitrogen of a different isotope.Successful labeled synthesis Energetic material Facilitates understanding of the basic science of explosives.

“This study unleashes a unique way to explore the science of energetic materials,” Racoveanu said. “This is a tracer method that can discover the reaction network of energetic materials not only during performance, but also in environments that are not encountered in normal operation or abnormal environments.”

This task addresses the issue of energy exposed to unusual environments. This is the interest of the National Nuclear Security Administration to make nuclear deterrence safer, longer lasting and easier to maintain.

Racoveanu is generally a stable isotope-labeled material (2NS, 15NS, 13C, and 18 18O) Provides new safe ways to gain insight into the behavior of these materials in a variety of chemical and biochemical systems. Studies of stable isotope-labeled high-energy compounds reveal scientific facts that help to understand the susceptibility of these substances to stimuli and their reaction pathways.

The energy labeling challenge is a thing of the past

Several stable isotope-labeled energetic materials have been created in the past, and the main constraint on the widespread labeling of energetic materials has been the very high cost of starting materials. Today, cheaper labeling components make isotopic labeling more accessible, with an increasing number of synthetic methods available for energetics. Still, these efforts are limited to small quantities due to cost, Racoveanu said.

“The main challenge for general stable isotope labeling is to perform the synthesis of all relevant steps very skillfully,” says Racoveanu. “Failures during the synthesis process are resolvable, but very expensive and sometimes not affordable. This is also useful for the synthesis of isotope-labeled energetic materials. Also, labeled endpoints. It may be necessary to design alternative routes to create. Starting materials with appropriate labels are not available. “

Isotopic labeling is performed in one or more synthetic steps, depending on the desired location of the label.Each step contains an isotope-labeled reaction component, Crude products are isolated and subsequently purified. Next, analyze the chemical and isotopic purity of the final target material.

Sandia National Laboratories recently contacted Racoveanu to assist in labeling various high explosives (fully). 15N-labeled CL-20 and fully labeled 13C HNS). LLNL continues to label the next high explosive: Triaminotrinitrobenzene (TATB) 13With C 18 18O; CL-20 and 15NS, 13With C 2NS.

“The result took us to a place we had never been to.”

Racoveanu is creating isotope-labeled compounds for a project undertaken by LLNL scientist John Reynolds.

“In other words,’Star Trek’, Anna made some labeled compounds for my project, and the results took us to places we’ve never been to. As her success became more and more apparent, other scientists were approaching to make isotope-labeled materials for their projects. ”

Reynolds said the study not only highlights the talent of one LLNL scientist, but also demonstrates the establishment of a very successful operation in producing isotope-labeled energy.

Racoveanu recognizes several colleagues as key experimental contributors to the success of this work, including Nathaniel Zuckerman, Phil Pagoria, Keith Coffee, Ryan Kelley and Larry Peck. Alan DeHope is the starter of Racoveanu’s involvement in isotope labeling, Evan Kahl leads the initial funding, Reynolds leads the work towards TATB, and Rick Gee, Will Shaw, and Jonathan Crowhurst enable CL-20 work. I made it.


Molecular crystal structure packs it


Quote: Play Safely: Scientists obtained the isotope label (2021) from https: //phys.org/news/2021-11-safe-scientist-energetic-compounds-isotopic.html on November 30, 2021. , November 30th) to create energetic compounds

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Scientists create energetic compounds with isotope labels

https://phys.org/news/2021-11-safe-scientist-energetic-compounds-isotopic.html Scientists create energetic compounds with isotope labels

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