Small angle neutron scattering (SANS) with contrast variation was used to characterize the fractal behavior and embedded porosity of micro/nano-sized 1,3,5-triamino-2,4,6-trinitrobenzene (TATB) crystallites, gauging the effects of particle sizes on the microstructural features. Scattering results reveal that the external surface of micro-sized TATB crystallites are continuous and smooth interfaces and their internal pores display a surface fractal structure (surface fractal dimension 2.15 < DS
< 2.25), while the external surface of nano-sized TATB particles exhibit a surface fractal structure (surface fractal dimension 2.36 < DS
< 2.55) and their internal pores show a two-level volume fractal structure (large voids consist of small voids). The voids volume fraction of nano-sized TATB particles are found increased distinctively when compared with micro-sized TATB particles on length scale between 1 nm and 100 nm. Specific surface areas are also estimated based on Porod law method, which are coincident with Brunauer-Emmett-Teller (BET) measurements. The contrast variation technique distinguishes the information of internal voids from external surface, suggesting SANS is a powerful tool for determining the microstructural features, which can be used to establish the relationship between microstructures and properties of micro/nano-energetic materials.
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