Nonlinear Electromagnetic Interactions in Energetic Materials

MA Wood and DAR Dalvit and DS Moore, PHYSICAL REVIEW APPLIED, 5, 014004 (2016).

DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevApplied.5.014004

We study the scattering of electromagnetic waves in anisotropic energetic materials. Nonlinear light-matter interactions in molecular crystals result in frequency-conversion and polarization changes. Applied electromagnetic fields of moderate intensity can induce these nonlinear effects without triggering chemical decomposition, offering a mechanism for the nonionizing identification of explosives. We use molecular-dynamics simulations to compute such two-dimensional THz spectra for planar slabs made of pentaerythritol tetranitrate and ammonium nitrate. We discuss third-harmonic generation and polarization- conversion processes in such materials. These observed far-field spectral features of the reflected or transmitted light may serve as an alternative tool for standoff explosive detection.

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