Los Alamos National Laboratory Collaboration for Explosives Detection

Explosives Science

Current efforts in explosives science cover many areas critical to national security. One particular area is the need for countermeasures against explosive threats.


Comprehensive explosives process

Los Alamos National Laboratory offers a comprehensive explosives process. This process leverages entire technical divisions dedicated to explosives science. Los Alamos scientists combine advanced expertise and capabilities with modern facilities. These assets enable LACED to offer unmatched R&D partnering opportunities to perform critical work in explosives detection.


Analytical chemistry capabilities include the following:

  • Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM)
  • Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC)
  • Full suite of analytical instrumentation for explosives characterization
  • Gas chromatography
  • High-performance liquid chromatography
  • Neutron scattering
  • Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR)
  • Optical microscopy
  • Particle sizing
  • Quality assurance
  • Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM)
  • Trace detection
  • Thermo-gravimetric analysis
  • Thermal diffusivity
  • X-Ray Diffraction (XRD)

Micromechanical testing

Performance testing of explosives from bench scale to demonstration scale


Sensitivity testing

Spectroscopy capabilities include the following:

  • UV/Visible
  • Vibrational
  • Terahertz and Ultrafast

Surface/interface science

Capabilities in synthesis/formulation of explosives include the following:

  • Green pathways
  • High-energy density energetics
  • High-performance propellants
  • Nano-energetics
  • New materials

Thermal analysis and thermal ignition testing