Integration of the 3DOM Al/Co3O4 nanothermite film with a semiconductor bridge to realize a high-output micro-energetic igniter†
Microigniters play an important role for the reliable initiation of micro explosive devices. However, the microigniter is still limited by the low out-put energy to realize high reliability and safety. Integration of energetic materials with microigniters is an effective method to enhance the ignition ability. In this work, a Al/Co3O4 nanothermite film with a three-dimensionally ordered macroporous structure was prepared by the deposition of nanoscale Al layers using magnetron sputtering on Co3O4 skeletons that are synthesized using an inverse template method. Both the uniform structure and nanoscale contact between the Al layers and the Co3O4 skeletons lead to an excellent exothermicity. In order to investigate the ignition properties, a micro-energetic igniter has been fabricated by the integration of the Al/Co3O4 nanothermite film with a semiconductor bridge microigniter. The thermite reactions between the nanoscale Al layer and the Co3O4 skeleton extensively promote the intensity of the spark, the length in duration and the size of the area, which greatly enhance the ignition reliability of the micro-energetic igniter. Moreover, this novel design enables the micro-energetic igniter to fire the pyrotechnic Zr/Pb3O4 in a gap of 3.7 mm by capacitor discharge stimulation and to keep the intrinsic instantaneity high and firing energy low. The realization of gap ignition will surely improve the safety level of initiating systems and have a significant impact on the design and application of explosive devices.