Modeling and characterizing the propagation velocity of exothermic reactions in multilayer foils

A. B. Mann, A. J. Gavens, M. E. Reiss, D. Van Heerden, G. Bao, T. P. Weihs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

186 Scopus citations


Combustible multilayer foils can be fabricated by sputter depositing alternate layers of materials which react exothermically during thermally induced intermixing. Current models for these reactions consider pure materials which only intermix during the self-propagating stage of the reaction, though in reality during fabrication the materials undergo partial intermixing. An analytical model dealing with the premixing is presented and compared with experimental results for Al/Ni and Al/(Ni:Cu) multilayers. The model and the results indicate that premixing lowers the propagation velocity both by slowing the rate of atomic diffusion between layers and by lowering the temperature of the reaction. The lower temperature can cause solid/liquid phase changes to dominate the reaction path. It is concluded that to use these foils in commercial and engineering applications, the method of fabrication and the phase changes occurring during the reaction must be controlled to give the desired characteristics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1178-1188
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Applied Physics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 1 1997
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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