Mixtures of high explosives with materials that readily absorb microwaves ignite more readily when exposed to microwave energy than the corresponding neat explosives. A charge of HMX (0.5 gram) mixed with carbon nanotubes (1 percent by mass) ignited with 7.5 joules at an average rate of 750 W for 10 milliseconds. To raise a charge of the same mass of neat HMX to an autoignition temperature of 200 degrees Celsius would require much more energy (about 110 joules) for a longer duration (about 150 milliseconds).
STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERAL RIGHTS
 This invention was made with government support under Contract No. W-7405-ENG-36 awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy. The government has certain rights in the invention.