Effect of varying bilayer spacing distribution on reaction heat and velocity in reactive Al/Ni multilayers

Robert Knepper, Murray R. Snyder, Greg Fritz, Kaitlynn Fisher, Omar M. Knio, Timothy P. Weihs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

149 Scopus citations


Self-propagating reactions in Al/Ni nanostructured multilayer foils are examined both experimentally and computationally to determine the impact of variations in reactant spacing on reaction properties. Heats of reaction and reaction velocities have been characterized as a function of average bilayer spacing for sputter-deposited, single-bilayer foils (having a uniform bilayer spacing) and for dual-bilayer foils (having two different bilayer spacings that are labeled thick and thin). In the latter case, the spatial distribution of the thick and thin bilayers is found to have a significant effect on reaction velocity, with coarse distributions leading to much higher reaction velocities than fine distributions. Numerical simulations of reaction velocity match experimental data well for most spatial distributions, with the exception of very coarse distributions or distributions containing very small bilayer spacings. A simple model based on thermal diffusivities and reaction velocities is proposed to predict when the spatial distribution of thick and thin bilayers becomes coarse enough to affect reaction velocity. This combination of experiment and simulation will allow for more effective design and prediction of reaction velocities in both sputter-deposited and mechanically processed reactive materials with variable reactant spacings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number083504
JournalJournal of Applied Physics
Issue number8
StatePublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Physics and Astronomy


Dive into the research topics of 'Effect of varying bilayer spacing distribution on reaction heat and velocity in reactive Al/Ni multilayers'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this