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CAS number 78998-15-9 YesY
Jmol-3D images Image 1
Molecular formula N8
Molar mass 112.05 g mol−1
Density 2.69 g/cm3 (predicted)1
Except where noted otherwise, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C (77 °F), 100 kPa)
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Infobox references

Octaazacubane is a hypothetical allotrope of nitrogen with formula N8, whose molecules have eight atoms arranged into a cube. (By comparison, nitrogen usually occurs as the diatomic molecule N2.) It can be regarded as a derivative of cubane, where all eight carbon atoms (and their corresponding hydrogen atoms) have been replaced with a nitrogen atom.2 It is predicted to be a metastable molecule, in which despite the thermodynamic instability caused by bond strain, and the high energy of the N-N single bonds, the molecule remains kinetically stable for reasons of orbital symmetry.3

Explosive and fuel

Octaazacubane is predicted to have an energy density (assuming decomposition into N2) of 22.9 MJ / kg,4 which is over 5 times the standard value of TNT. It has therefore been proposed (along with other exotic nitrogen allotropes) as an explosive, and as a component of high performance rocket fuel.5 Its velocity of detonation is predicted to be 15,000 m/s, much (48.5%) more than ONC, the fastest known nonnuclear explosive.6

See also

  • Tetranitrogen (Nitrogen allotrope with formula N4)
  • Hexazine (Nitrogen allotrope with formula N6)
  • Azidopentazole (Nitrogen allotrope with formula N8)
  • Bispentazole (Nitrogen allotrope with formula N10)7
  • Bis(pentazolyl)diazene (Nitrogen allotrope with formula N12)
  • Eicosaazadodecahedrane (Nitrogen allotrope with formula N20)8
  • Hexacontaazabuckminsterfullerane (Nitrogen allotrope with formula N60)9
  • Pentazole
  • Octanitrocubane (ONC)
  • 1,1'-Azobis-1,2,3-triazole


  1. ^ Agrawal, Jai Prakash (2010). High Energy Materials: Propellants, Explosives and Pyrotechnics. Online: Wiley-VCH. p. 498. ISBN 978-3-527-62880-3. 
  2. ^ B. Muir. "Cubane"(See under "further topics" section.) 
  3. ^ Ujwala N. Patil, Nilesh R. Dhumal and Shridhar P. Gejji. "Theoretical studies on the molecular electron densities and electrostatic potentials in azacubanes". Theoretical Chemistry Accounts: Theory, Computation, and Modeling (Theoretica Chimica Acta) 112. p. 27-32. 
  4. ^ Mikhail N. Glukhovtsev, Haijun Jiao, and Paul von Ragué Schleyer. "Besides N2, What Is the Most Stable Molecule Composed Only of Nitrogen Atoms?". Inorganic Chemistry 35. p. 7124–7133. 
  5. ^ "Exploding the mysteries of nitrogen.". Chemistry and Industry. 
  6. ^ Agrawal, Jai Prakash (2010). High Energy Materials: Propellants, Explosives and Pyrotechnics. Online: Wiley-VCH. p. 498. ISBN 978-3-527-62880-3. 
  7. ^ Manaa, M. R. (2000). "Toward new energy-rich molecular systems: From N10 to N60". Chemical Physics Letters 331 (2–4): 262–268. doi:10.1016/S0009-2614(00)01164-7. 
  8. ^ Charkin, O. P. (2013). "Theoretical study of N20, C20, and B20 clusters "squeezed" inside icosahedral C80 and He80 cages". Russian Journal of Inorganic Chemistry 58: 46–55. doi:10.1134/S0036023613010038. 
  9. ^ Wang, L. J.; Zgierski, M. Z. (2003). "Super-high energy-rich nitrogen cluster N60". Chemical Physics Letters 376 (5–6): 698. doi:10.1016/S0009-2614(03)01058-3.