NRC Research and Fellowship Programs
Fellowships Office
Policy and Global Affairs

Participating Agencies

  sign in | print

RAP opportunity at Air Force Science and Technology Fellowship Program     AF STFP

Combustion and Ignition Chemistry of Energetic Propellants


Aerospace Systems Directorate, RQ/Rocket Propulsion Division

opportunity location
13.30.12.B7679 Edwards Air Force Base, CA 93524


name email phone
Ghanshyam L Vaghjiani 661.275.5657


Our research centers on fundamental chemical kinetics and applications in combustion chemistry of energetic propellants. The rates of elementary reactions are measured using various direct time-resolved techniques such as pulsed laser photolysis, coupled with laser-spectrometric or mass-spectrometric probing of the short-lived species in the gas phase. We also use rapid-scan FTIR absorption spectroscopy to probe the formation of stable products in these reactions. Heterogeneous processes, such as the reactions of aerosolized propellant fuel in various oxidizing gaseous environments, are studied using the VUV-PI-TOFMS experimental set-up of the Chemical Dynamics Beamline at the Advanced Light Source Synchrotron Facility at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in Berkeley, CA. Direct molecular dynamics simulations are also performed to identify pertinent chemical processes in the combustion of propellant mixtures. Chemical models of these processes are constructed using ab initio quantum chemical, TST and RRKM theories to understand the mechanisms. The laboratory data is extrapolated to operational conditions in the prediction of ignition delay times, a quantity of significant importance in the design of rocket engines.



Yu J, et al: Energy & Fuels, 32, 7898, 2018

Chambreau SD, et al: J. Phys. Chem. Lett., 8, 2126, 2017

Sun H, Vaghjiani, GL: Journal of Chemical Physics, 142, 204301, 2015

Perez JPL, et al: Applied Materials and Interfaces, 7, 9991, 2015

Chambreau SD, et al: Journal of Physical Chemistry A, 118, 11119, 2014

key words
Combustion chemistry; Propellant ignition; Reactions kinetics; Time resolved laser spectroscopy; FTIR spectroscopy; TOF mass spectrometry; Chemical mechanisms; Quantum chemical calculations; Molecular dynamics simulations;


Citizenship:  Open to U.S. citizens
Level:  Open to Postdoctoral and Senior applicants


Base Stipend Travel Allotment Supplementation
$95,000.00 $5,000.00

Experience Supplement:
Postdoctoral and Senior Associates will receive an appropriately higher stipend based on the number of years of experience past their PhD.

Copyright © 2024. National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.Terms of Use and Privacy Policy