Thrust 1
Characterization & Elimination of Illicit Explosives

Thrust Leader: Jimmie Oxley, University of Rhode Island

Detection of explosives requires knowledge of the signature characteristics of various threat materials and seeks to answer the following questions:

  • What makes a chemical capable of being an explosive or of detonating?
  • Can we prevent terrorist acquisition and/or use of precursor chemicals to make explosives?
  • Are there characteristics of terrorist-used explosives that exhibit observable signatures by current or envisioned sensor systems?
  • Can we concentrate sample collection to enhance our ability to detect these signatures?
  • What properties of terrorist-used explosives pertain to safe handling and creation of realistic simulants?

Activities of this research thrust include

  1. Characterization of signatures and properties of a variety of potential threat materials;
  2. Design of protocols for safe handling and disposal of these threats, including ways to prevent common chemicals from being used to make illicit explosives while still allowing their intended uses;
  3. Determination of surface-explosive particle interaction in order to best locate and collect explosive residue.

Project Leaders

  • Jimmie Oxley
    Professor
    University of Rhode Island
    Email

  • Choon-Shik Yoo
    Professor
    Washington State University
    Email

  • Steven F. Son
    Associate Professor
    Purdue University
    Email

  • Louisa Hope-Weeks
    Professor
    Texas Tech University
    Email

  • Jim Smith
    Professor
    URI
    Email

  • Ronnie Kosloff
    Professor
    Hebrew University, Jerusalem
    Email


Faculty and Staff

  • Brandon Weeks
    Associate Director
    Texas Tech University
    Email

  • Yehuda Zeiri
    Professor
    Hebrew University, Jerusalem
    Email

  • Sze Yang
    Professor
    URI
    Email

  • Minseob Kim
    Post Doctoral
    Washington State University
    Email

  • Gerald Kagan
    Post-Doc
    URI
    Email


Students

  • Maria Donnelly
    URI
  • Matt Porter
    URI
  • Austin Brown
    URI
  • Devon Swanson
    URI
  • Lindsay McLennan
    URI
  • Mihindra Dunuwille
    Washington State University
  • Dane Tomasino
  • Young Jay Ryu
    Washington State University
  • Ryan Rettinger
    URI
  • Michelle Gonsalves
    URI
  • David Kittell
    Purdue University
  • Peter Renslow
    Purdue University
  • Xin Zhang
    Texas Tech University
  • Donald Ramirez
    Texas Tech
  • Jon Canino
    URI
  • Kaushal Purohit
    URI
  • Guang Zhang
    URI
  • Jie Mei
    URI
  • Rebecca Levine
    URI
  • Direct laser initiation and improved thermal stability of nitrocellulose/graphene oxide nanocomposites X. Zhang, W.M. Hikal, S.K. Bhattacharia, L. Li, S. Panditrao, S. Wang and B.L. Weeks Applied Physics Letters, 102, 141905 2013.
  • Metal-Organic Frameworks (MOFs) as Safer, Structurally Reinforced Energetics OS. Bushuyev, P. Brown, A. Maiti, RH. Gee, GR. Peterson, BL. Weeks, and LJ. Hope-Weeks Chemistry-A European Journal, 19(5), 1706-1711 2013.
  • Phase Pure Triacetone Triperoxide: The Influence of Ionic Strength, Oxidant Source, and Acid Catalyst G.R. Peterson, W.P. Bassett, B.L. Weeks and L.J. Hope-Weeks Crystal Growth and Design, 13, 2307-2311 2013.
  • Solvent-tuned Hierarchically Porosity in Nitrocellulose Aerogels G R. Peterson, K A. Cychosz, M. Thommes, and LJ. Hope-Weeks Chemical Communications, 48(96), 11754-11756 2012.
  • Controlling the morphology of a zinc ferrite-based aerogel by choice of solvent P. Brown, D. Uancearnaigh, and LJ. Hope-Weeks Journal of Sol-gel Science and Technology, 61 (1), 104-111 2012.
  • Ionic Polymers as a New Structural Motif for High Energy-Density Materials OS. Bushuyev, P. Brown, A. Maiti, RH. Gee, GR. Peterson, BL. Weeks, and LJ. Hope-Weeks Journal of the American Chemical Society, 134 (3), 1422–1425 2012.
  • Oxygen-Diffusion Limited Metal Combustions in Zr, Fe and Ti Foils: Time-Resolved X-ray Diffraction Studies Haoyan Wei, Jing-Yin Chen and Choong-Shik Yoo J. App. Phys. 111, 063528 2012.
  • Kinetics of Small Single Particle Combustion of Zirconium Alloy Haoyan Wei and Choong-Shik Yoo J. App. Phys. 111, 023506 2012.
  • Evaluation of the GPU Architecture for the Implementation of Target Detection Algorithms for Hyperspectral Imagery. Velez-Reyes, Miguel 2011 SPIE Defense, Vol 8048 2011.
  • TNT removal by wild plants growing in the Caribbean. Hernandez, Samuel Chemosphere 2011.