We describe the optical and electrical analysis of a micro-explosion of silicon and micro-thermite micro-bridges with a spectral temporal resolution within a 2 ms time range. The intensity of peaks and their mean lifetimes are calculated to identify the contributing atomic and molecular species. Singly ionised atoms and molecules were the main contributor to spectroscopic signature of emission. It is shown that micro-bridges can be used to characterise small (safe) < 10 mg amounts of energetic materials. Use of ions at low ionisation numbers of Si as well as Cu-oxides with different metal-to-oxygen ratios allows the thermal conditions for micro-explosions and a higher temperature of the discharge plasma to be engineered. Temperatures of 5000 ± 5005000 ± 500 K (the black-body radiation fit) were achieved with simple micro-bridge junctions of 10–30 ΩΩ resistance initiated with 100–250 V (triggered capacitor discharge). The demonstrated approach can be applied in material science research concerning ultra-fast melting, phase transitions, and detailed steps leading towards detonation (exponentially growing exothermic chemical reactions).
The ultra-fast melting, phase transitions, and micro-explosions can be optically, spectrally and electrically characterised using micro-/nano-thermites