Tetrazene is slightly more impact-sensitive than mercury fulminate. When pressed enough, its sensitivity is reduced or destroyed; this is known as dead pressing. It also decomposes in boiling water. In contact with fire, it readily explodes, producing large amounts of black smoke. It is prepared by reacting sodium nitrite with an aminoguanidine salt dissolved in acetic acid at 30–40 °C.
^Duke, J. R. C. (1971). "X-Ray crystal and molecular structure of ‘tetrazene’, (‘Tetracene’), C2H8N10O". Journal of the Chemical Society D: Chemical Communications1971 (1): 2–3. doi:10.1039/C29710000002.