Electrospray Crystallization for High-Quality Submicron-Sized Crystals

Norbert Radacsi*, Andrzej I. Stankiewicz, Yves L. M. Creyghton, Antoine E. D. M. van der Heijden, Joop H. ter Horst

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Nano- and submicron-sized crystals are too small to contain inclusions and are, therefore, expected to have a higher internal quality compared to conventionally sized particles (several tens to hundreds of microns). Using electrospray crystallization, nano- and submicron-sized crystals can be easily produced. With the aid of electrospray crystallization, a mist of ultrafine solution droplets is generated and subsequent solvent evaporation leads to crystallization of submicron-sized crystals. Using cyclotrimethylene trinitramine (RDX) solutions in acetone, the conditions for a stable and continuous jet were established. At relatively small nozzle diameters and relatively low potential differences, hollow spheres of RDX crystals were observed. At a higher nozzle diameter and potential difference and in the region of a continuous jet, RDX crystals with an average size of around 400 nm could be produced. In order to test the quality of the submicron-sized energetic material, impact and friction sensitivity tests were carried out. The test results indicate that the submicron-sized product had reduced friction sensitivity, indicating a higher internal quality of the crystalline product.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)624-630
Number of pages7
JournalChemical Engineering & Technology
Issue number4
Early online date4 Mar 2011
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2011

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • Crystallization
  • Cyclotrimethylene trinitramine
  • Electrospray crystallization
  • Nanoparticles
  • RDX


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