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Template:Chembox E number
IUPAC name Octanitrocubane
3D model (JSmol)
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Molar mass 464.1296 g/mol
Density 2 g/cm3
Except where noted otherwise, data are given for
materials in their standard state
(at 25 °C, 100 kPa)

Infobox disclaimer and references

Octanitrocubane (C8(NO2)8) is a powerful high explosive, that, like TNT, is shock-insensitive (not readily detonated by shock). The octanitrocubane molecule has the same chemical structure as cubane (C8H8) except all eight hydrogen (H) atoms are each replaced by nitro (NO2) groups.

Octanitrocubane is thought to have 20 to 25 percent greater performance than HMX (octogen), the state-of-the-art military explosive as of year 2000. This increase in power is due its highly expansive breakdown into 8CO2 + 4N2, as well as to the presence of strained chemical bonds in the molecule. In addition, Octanitrocubane requires no external oxygen source to decompose, produces no water vapor (making it less visible), and both the chemical itself and its decomposition products are considered non-toxic.

Small amounts have been synthesized in the laboratory, but not enough for performance testing as an explosive.[1]

Octanitrocubane was first synthesized by Philip Eaton and Mao-Xi Zhang at the University of Chicago in 1999, with the structure proven by crystallographer Richard Gilardi of the US Naval Research Laboratory.[2][3]

Its R.E. factor is about 2.7.

See also


  1. Astakhov AM, Stepanov RS, Babushkin AY (1998). "On the detonation parameters of octanitrocubane". Compustion Explosion and Schock Waves. 34 (1): 85–87.
  2. Mao-Xi Zhang, Philip E. Eaton, Richard Gilardi (2000). "Hepta- and Octanitrocubanes". Angewandte Chemie International Edition. 39 (2): 401–404. doi:10.1002/(SICI)1521-3773(20000117)39:2<401::AID-ANIE401>3.0.CO;2-P.
  3. Philip E. Eaton, Mao-Xi Zhang, Richard Gilardi, Nat Gelber, Sury Iyer, Rao Surapaneni (2001). "Octanitrocubane: A New Nitrocarbon". Propellants, Explosives, Pyrotechnics. 27 (1): 1–6. doi:10.1002/1521-4087(200203)27:1<1::AID-PREP1>3.0.CO;2-6.

External links


de:Octanitrocuban it:Ottanitrocubano fi:Oktanitrokubaani