Baltic-German Twinning for Research on Energetic Heterocycles (Acronym: HETERGETIC)

Duration of the project

01.02.2024. - 30.10.2024.

Countries and institutions involved in the project

Riga Technical University
Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich
Vilnius University

Project manager

Prof. Dr. Māris Turks

Aims of the project

In this project we will establish a trilateral collaboration between Riga Technical University, Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich and Vilnius University. Each of the groups brings unique expertise, which is synergistically enhancing the consortium for studying the energetic materials. This create the critical mass of human resources and boost the energetic materials research in the Baltic States.

Energetic binary compounds composed solely of carbon and nitrogen constitute a particularly intriguing and critical subset of the field of energetic materials research. These compounds with high energy content play a pivotal role in applications ranging from propulsion and explosives to pyrotechnics. Their uniqueness is closely linked to their elemental composition. They exhibit higher energy density and release it upon ignition or detonation, which is determined by strong, covalent C-N bonds of the material and by great stability of N2 molecule formed during their decomposition []. This results in a greater amount of energy stored within the molecular structure, leading to more powerful explosive or propellant characteristics. They also usually provide increased detonation velocities, as the N-N bonds contribute to faster reaction rates, enabling the release of energy in a shorter time frame, a critical parameter for explosive applications. Nitrogen-rich compounds logically produce nitrogen gas (N2) and carbon in the form of soot. These byproducts are less harmful to the environment compared to traditional explosives, which may release toxic gases or heavy metal residues [;].

Prof Turks group has recently discovered a novel binary energetic compound C6N16 with promising detonation parameters [], the optimization of which during this project will lead to less sensitive yet very powerful primary explosive that my outperform existing analogs. This requires structural adjustments, which can be suggested by prof. Klapötke’s group due to their expertise in the field and available compactional resources [ ]. The ability to tune the nitrogen content in these compounds – changing substituents, making salts and/or solvates – allows for tailoring their properties to specific applications. On the other hand, Dr. Šarlauskas group is specialized in synthesis of various nitro-heterocycles as energetic compounds [] and possess ability to establish the biosafety pattern of the obtained molecules. Combining the expertise of Baltic scientists in synthesis of energetic heterocycles and establishing its cytotoxicity parameters with German expertise in design and analysis of energetic compounds will provide the right synergy that will create novel energetic materials with useful properties. This also will provide new scientific market directions for well-developed organic synthesis domain in Latvia, which historically was mostly devoted to medicinal chemistry.

Direct and indirect target group of the project


  • Prof. Turks’s scientific group in Riga
  • Prof. Klapötke scientific group in Munich
  • Prof. Jursenas scientific group in Vilnius
  • Dr. Šarlauskas scientific group in Vilnius
  • Participants of “Balticum Organicum Syntheticum 2024”



  • RTU Faculty of Materials Science and Applied Chemistry
  • Community of organic chemists in Latvia
  • Institute of Photonics and Nanotechnology at Vilnius University
  • Institute of Biochemistry at Vilnius University