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Small-scale, self-propagating combustion realized with on-chip porous silicon.

Authors
Type
Published Article
Journal
ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces
1944-8252
Publisher
American Chemical Society
Publication Date
Volume
7
Issue
18
Pages
9889–9897
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1021/acsami.5b01964
PMID: 25898206
Source
Medline
Keywords
License
Unknown

Abstract

For small-scale energy applications, energetic materials represent a high energy density source that, in certain cases, can be accessed with a very small amount of energy input. Recent advances in microprocessing techniques allow for the implementation of a porous silicon energetic material onto a crystalline silicon wafer at the microscale; however, combustion at a small length scale remains to be fully investigated, particularly with regards to the limitations of increased relative heat loss during combustion. The present study explores the critical dimensions of an on-chip porous silicon energetic material (porous silicon + sodium perchlorate (NaClO4)) required to propagate combustion. We etched ∼97 μm wide and ∼45 μm deep porous silicon channels that burned at a steady rate of 4.6 m/s, remaining steady across 90° changes in direction. In an effort to minimize the potential on-chip footprint for energetic porous silicon, we also explored the minimum spacing between porous silicon channels. We demonstrated independent burning of porous silicon channels at a spacing of <40 μm. Using this spacing, it was possible to have a flame path length of >0.5 m on a chip surface area of 1.65 cm(2). Smaller porous silicon channels of ∼28 μm wide and ∼14 μm deep were also utilized. These samples propagated combustion, but at times, did so unsteadily. This result may suggest that we are approaching a critical length scale for self-propagating combustion in a porous silicon energetic material.

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