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Coulomb explosion during the early stages of the reaction of alkali metals with water

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Coulomb explosion during the early stages of the reaction of alkali metals with water. / Mason, Philip E.; Uhlig, Frank; Vaněk, Václav; Buttersack, Tillmann; Bauerecker, Sigurd; Jungwirth, Pavel.

In: Nature Chemistry, Vol. 7, No. 3, 2015, p. 250-254.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Harvard

Mason, PE, Uhlig, F, Vaněk, V, Buttersack, T, Bauerecker, S & Jungwirth, P 2015, 'Coulomb explosion during the early stages of the reaction of alkali metals with water', Nature Chemistry, vol. 7, no. 3, pp. 250-254. https://doi.org/10.1038/nchem.2161

APA

Mason, P. E., Uhlig, F., Vaněk, V., Buttersack, T., Bauerecker, S., & Jungwirth, P. (2015). Coulomb explosion during the early stages of the reaction of alkali metals with water. Nature Chemistry, 7(3), 250-254. https://doi.org/10.1038/nchem.2161

Vancouver

Mason PE, Uhlig F, Vaněk V, Buttersack T, Bauerecker S, Jungwirth P. Coulomb explosion during the early stages of the reaction of alkali metals with water. Nature Chemistry. 2015;7(3):250-254. https://doi.org/10.1038/nchem.2161

Author

Mason, Philip E. ; Uhlig, Frank ; Vaněk, Václav ; Buttersack, Tillmann ; Bauerecker, Sigurd ; Jungwirth, Pavel. / Coulomb explosion during the early stages of the reaction of alkali metals with water. In: Nature Chemistry. 2015 ; Vol. 7, No. 3. pp. 250-254.

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@article{22217b3cdfce4df49b3e13a77609a7d8,
title = "Coulomb explosion during the early stages of the reaction of alkali metals with water",
abstract = "Alkali metals can react explosively with water and it is textbook knowledge that this vigorous behaviour results from heat release, steam formation and ignition of the hydrogen gas that is produced. Here we suggest that the initial process enabling the alkali metal explosion in water is, however, of a completely different nature. High-speed camera imaging of liquid drops of a sodium/potassium alloy in water reveals submillisecond formation of metal spikes that protrude from the surface of the drop. Molecular dynamics simulations demonstrate that on immersion in water there is an almost immediate release of electrons from the metal surface. The system thus quickly reaches the Rayleigh instability limit, which leads to a 'coulomb explosion' of the alkali metal drop. Consequently, a new metal surface in contact with water is formed, which explains why the reaction does not become self-quenched by its products, but can rather lead to explosive behaviour.",
author = "Mason, {Philip E.} and Frank Uhlig and V{\'a}clav Vaněk and Tillmann Buttersack and Sigurd Bauerecker and Pavel Jungwirth",
year = "2015",
doi = "10.1038/nchem.2161",
language = "English",
volume = "7",
pages = "250--254",
journal = "Nature Chemistry",
issn = "1755-4330",
publisher = "Nature Publishing Group",
number = "3",

}

RIS (suitable for import to EndNote) - Download

TY - JOUR

T1 - Coulomb explosion during the early stages of the reaction of alkali metals with water

AU - Mason, Philip E.

AU - Uhlig, Frank

AU - Vaněk, Václav

AU - Buttersack, Tillmann

AU - Bauerecker, Sigurd

AU - Jungwirth, Pavel

PY - 2015

Y1 - 2015

N2 - Alkali metals can react explosively with water and it is textbook knowledge that this vigorous behaviour results from heat release, steam formation and ignition of the hydrogen gas that is produced. Here we suggest that the initial process enabling the alkali metal explosion in water is, however, of a completely different nature. High-speed camera imaging of liquid drops of a sodium/potassium alloy in water reveals submillisecond formation of metal spikes that protrude from the surface of the drop. Molecular dynamics simulations demonstrate that on immersion in water there is an almost immediate release of electrons from the metal surface. The system thus quickly reaches the Rayleigh instability limit, which leads to a 'coulomb explosion' of the alkali metal drop. Consequently, a new metal surface in contact with water is formed, which explains why the reaction does not become self-quenched by its products, but can rather lead to explosive behaviour.

AB - Alkali metals can react explosively with water and it is textbook knowledge that this vigorous behaviour results from heat release, steam formation and ignition of the hydrogen gas that is produced. Here we suggest that the initial process enabling the alkali metal explosion in water is, however, of a completely different nature. High-speed camera imaging of liquid drops of a sodium/potassium alloy in water reveals submillisecond formation of metal spikes that protrude from the surface of the drop. Molecular dynamics simulations demonstrate that on immersion in water there is an almost immediate release of electrons from the metal surface. The system thus quickly reaches the Rayleigh instability limit, which leads to a 'coulomb explosion' of the alkali metal drop. Consequently, a new metal surface in contact with water is formed, which explains why the reaction does not become self-quenched by its products, but can rather lead to explosive behaviour.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84923338638&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1038/nchem.2161

DO - 10.1038/nchem.2161

M3 - Article

VL - 7

SP - 250

EP - 254

JO - Nature Chemistry

JF - Nature Chemistry

SN - 1755-4330

IS - 3

ER -