Portfolio Companies

Neutron Technologies

Detectors of Explosives and Narcotics

Shareholders in Portfolio Company 
RUSNANO, Joint Institute for Nuclear Research, Detectors of Explosive and Narcotic Substances

Industry Sector 
Nanoelectronics and Photonics

Production Location 
Dubna, Moscow Oblast

Investment Started:  2010

Total Budget

0.46  bln rubles
Co-investment by RUSNANO
0.16  bln rubles

Production to detectors that use tagged neutron technology fo find illicit materials and explosives

As part of a Russian federal program to safeguard passengers using public transportion, the government has placed tagged neutron detectors in metro and train stations. Neutron Technologies has been entrusted with mass production of the detectors.

Areas of application

  • Stationary luggage inspection systems
  • Vehicle inspection systems
  • Portable detectors
  • Cargo container inspection systems


  • Authorities overseeing airports, sea and river ports, railway stations, and parking lots; law enforcement agencies

Competitive advantages

  • Identification of more than 30 explosives
  • Automated identification, without human intervention
  • Probability of identification 98%

Многоцелевые детекторыTagged neutron detectors differ from conventional x-ray detectors in that they identify hidden substances by their elemental composition, not by their density. Airport x-ray machines can find a bottle in a suitcase easily, but they cannot distinguish liquid explosives from water in the bottle. The Joint Institute for Nuclear Research in Dubna has devised a new detector of explosives and illicit materials that resolves this problem.

The detector identifies the composition of substances through the spectrum of gamma rays that are emitted when neutrons hit the substance. The birth of a neutron in the generator is accompanied by the appearance of "tags”, alpha particles that fly away from the neutron to the alpha-detector. The selection of coincident signals with alpha and gamma ray detectors suppresses up to 200 times the signals from background noise. This dramatically changes the conditions for registering the spectrum of gamma rays from substances, making their identification faster and more reliable.

In production of its semiconductor alpha detectors, Neutron Technologies uses high-alloyed nanolayers whose thicknesses are less than 100 nanometers.