We use cookies.
By using the site, you agree to our Privacy Policy.

Contract number
Time span of the project

As of 01.11.2022

Number of staff members
scientific publications
Objects of intellectual property
General information

Name of the project: New generation of inorganic scintillation materials and detectors based on them to register neutrons in a wide range of energies

Goals and objectives

Research directions: New luminescent materials including materials for detecting ionizing radiations

Project objective:

Developing a new generation of inorganic scintillation materials and detectors based on them to register neutrons in a wide range of energies, technological solutions for prospective development of such materials and detectors using those materials utilizing modern elements; enhancing methodology of developing new scintillating and luminescent materials

The practical value of the study

Scientific results:

  1. Over the course of the implementation of the project, within the created concept of multiple-purpose scintillation materials we have conducted research to develop methods of controlling their properties for neutron detectors and to test materials in prototypes of detectors of various types. The experimental work to produce samples of materials  and research their properties, as a rule, was preceded by elaboration of ideas using nuclear-physics modeling (mainly in GEANT4).
  2. The main group of the studied materials is a family of crystal scintillators based on complex oxides with the garnet structure. An important advantage of Gd as an absorbent of neutrons is the high cross-section of capture and the absence of the necessity for isotope enrichment. We proposed principles of detection of neutrons with various energies using these materials, from thermal to high-energy, that account, on the one hand, for the physics of the interaction of neutrons with gadolinium nuclei – the multitude of gamma quants emitted from the Gd(n,γ)Gd reaction and the presence of a significant share of soft gamma quants and conversion electrons and, on the other hand, the possibilities opened by the characteristics of the materials of this family – a fast   deexcitation kinetics not exceeding 100 ns and a high light yield up to ~50 thousand photons per MeV. These principles were reflected in proposed solutions for creating prototypes of detectors.
  3. Our research of this group of materials was focused on determining the possibility of increasing the light yield of scintillation and accelerating the luminescence kinetics. We determined the optimal ratio of Gd and Y in scintillators with the (Gd,Y)3Ga3Al2O12 matrix to achieve a higher scintillation yield. For Gd3Ga3Al2O12:Ce3+ polycrystalline scintillators we established an enrichment of the boundaries of the grains by an activator and demonstrated that such enrichment leads to an increased intensity of deexcitation on the boundaries of grains. We produced samples of (Gd,Y)3Ga3Al2O12:Tb3+ ceramics, for which we detected an unprecedented high scintillation light yield that was close to the theoretically attainable maximum for this family of materials. Despite the slow deexcitation kinetics, for some applications such a material can turn out to be extremely interesting, for example, for detectors for neutron radiography with a frame accumulation time measured in seconds or minutes. Moreover, we have found a high radiation resistance of crystal materials based on oxides with the garnet stricture in flows of high-energy protons up to a fluence of about 1015 particles per cm2, which is equivalent to a flow of neutral particles of about 1017 particles per cm2. In the last year, as a result of a targeted optimization of the composition on the basis of previously determined laws, we produced samples of semitransparent and transparent compositionally disordered ceramics with the garnet structure (Gd,Y,Lu)3Al2Ga3O12, with a main component of the deexcitation kinetics that has a duration of less than 15 ns with a light yield of over 35 thousand photons per MeV, a result that is at the frontier of research in this field.
  4. An equally important group of materials were scintillation glasses. The starting point were glasses based on Li2O–SiO2 activated with Ce3+, which is classical for neutron detection. Thee initial idea of additional moderation of neutrons by adding beryllium to glasses was abandoned following the results of research. We conducted studies of the stabilization of the activator in the required degree of oxidation of Ce3+ and proposed an original technique for producing glasses with characteristics that exceed  those of commercial samples. We also produced Tb‑activated Li2O-SiO2 glasses that possess a light yield of up to 30 thousand photons per MeV, which is unusual for glasses (this lead to an idea of creating Tb‑activated ceramics based on oxides with the garnet structure).
  5. Moreover, we conducted a search for new potentially promising compositions of scintillation glasses. Interesting results were obtained for glasses in the Gd2O3-BaO-SiO2:Ce system, for which we developed a laboratory methodology for the production of samples in the form of plates with an area of several square centimeters and Gd2O3-Al2O3-SiO2:Ce glasses created on their basis that possess a fast deexcitation kinetics. These glasses can be viewed not only and not just for neutron detection, but for large-volume detectors in high-energy physics experiments.
  6. Along with materials in the form of ceramics and glasses, within the project we have developed the idea of screens relying on scintillation powder pigment. We demonstrated the detection characteristics of screens based on GYAGG:Ce pigments, which are slightly inferior to classical screens relying on ZnS:Ag in terms of luminosity, but  have a detection efficiency that is not lower and have a significantly faster  deexcitation kinetics (patent No. RU 2781041 has been obtained by Kurchatov Institute). We refined a methodology for producing screens on the basis of various pigments. A screening of potential scintillation pigments among Li-containing scintillators with a light matrix lead to a discovery of the luminescent compound Li2CaSiO4:Eu2+, which had not been proposed for use as a scintillator earlier, in particular, for neutron detection.
  7. During our work we have created prototypes of neutron detectors based on the researched materials (GAGG, GYAGG, Li glasses) and the modern element base, including silicon photomultipliers (SiPM) as the photoelectric detector. We demonstrated the operational capability of the detectors. To decrease sensitivity to the soft part of the gamma background, we used shielding, decreasing the thickness of the detecting element and amplitude discrimination of pulses. We demonstrated the multiplicity of gamma quants emitted in the Gd(n,γ)Gd reaction lead to the idea to use detectors to register neutrons for improved discrimination of background events. Additionally, the use of the principle of matching in combination with the use of a fast deexcitation dynamics of the scintillator with the garnet structure lead to the idea to create a segmented antineutrino  detector with multiple veto for selection of combinations of signals caused by the interaction in the proton target surrounding scintillation elements. The prototype of a cell of such a detector has been modeled and constructed to conduct tests with various scintillation signal readout types.
  8. The fast deexcitation kinetics of Ce-activated scintillators made it logical to study the possibility of using the time-of-flight principle for the spectroscopy of neurons. The first experiments demonstrated that the use of neutron detectors based on such scintillators as, GAGG:Ce allows to implement time-of-flight measurements and, according to existing assessments this should, allow to use a flight base with a length of 5 meters (up to 0,5 meter), which is significantly less than the size of currently used similar devices. This can significantly simplify the assembly and functioning of time-of-flight neutron spectrometers.

Implemented results of research:

We are currently testing the produced materials in prototypes of detectors for various applications – for equipment of synchrotron stations, for the detection of neutrons, neutrinos and   high-energy particles in high-energy physics. In case of success, it will become possible to use the developed materials in these areas.

Education and career development:

  • Two Candidate of Sciences dissertations, 7 master’s and bachelor’s degree theses have been prepared and defended.
  • Employees of the Laboratory completed an internship at the home laboratory of the leading scientist.

Organizational and structural changes:

During development of the project we have created a basis for measurement and research of scintillation characteristics

Other results:

With the active participation of the leading scientist, in 2021 a road map was signed for collaboration between Kurchatov Institute and the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus until 2030, and in 2022 the Representative office of Kurchatov Institute was created in Belarus. At the Representative office we expect to conduct research in the area of competence of the Laboratory with the participation of our employees. 


  • European Organization for Nuclear Research – CERN: employees of the Laboratory participate in Crystal Clear Collaboration that is devoted to fundamental research involving the Large Hadron Collider.
  • Moscow State University: employees of the Laboratory execute a collaborative research project within the Federal Research and Technology Program for the advancement of synchrotron and neutron research and scientific infrastructure for 2019–2027 with the topic «Advancement of synchrotron and neutron research and infrastructure for materials of next-generation power industry and safe storage of radioactive waste».
  • Ural Federal University, named after the First President of Russia B. N. Yeltsin,: joint research to lay the groundwork in the field of the study of the physical properties of scintillators.

Hide Show full
i. komendo, a. bondarev, a. fedorov, g. dosovitskiy, v. gurinovich, d. kazlou, v. kozhemyakin, v. mechinsky, a. mikhlin, v. retivov, v. shukin, a. timochenko, m. murashev, a. zharova, m. korzhik.
New scintillator 6Li2CaSiO4:Eu2+ for neutron sensitive screens. Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research Section A: Accelerators, Spectrometers, Detectors and Associated Equipment 1045, 2022, p. 167637. DOI https://doi.org/10.1016/j.nima.2022.167637
m. korzhik, v. retivov, a. bondarau, g. dosovitskiy, v. dubov, i. kamenskikh, p. karpuk, d. kuznetsova, v. smyslova, v. mechinsky, v. pustovarov, d. tavrunov, e. tishchenko, a. vasil’ev.
Role of the dilution of the Gd sublattice in forming the scintillation properties of quaternary (Gd,Lu)3Al2Ga3O12:Ce ceramics. Crystals 12(9), 2022, p. 1196. DOI https://doi.org/10.3390/cryst12091196
m. korzhik, r. abashev, a. fedorov, g. dosovitskiy, e. gordienko, i. kamenskikh, d. kazlou, d. kuznecova, v. mechinsky, v. pustovarov, v. retivov, a. vasil'ev
Towards effective indirect radioisotope energy converters with bright and radiation hard scintillators of (Gd,Y)3Al2Ga3O12 family. Nuclear Engineering and Technology 54(7), 2022, pp. 2579-2585. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.net.2022.02.007
a. amelina, a. mikhlin, s. belus, a. bondarev, a. borisevich, d. kuznetsova, i. komrotov, v. mechinsky, d. kozlov, p. volkov, g. dosovitskiy, m. korzhik
(Gd,Ce)2O3-Al2O3-SiO2 scintillation glass. Journal of Non-Crystalline Solids 580, 2022, p. 121393. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jnoncrysol.2021.121393
g. dosovitskiy, v. dubov, p. karpyuk, p. volkov, g. tamulaitis, a. borisevich, a. vaitkevičius, k. prikhodko, l. kutuzov, r. svetogorov, a. veligzhanin, m. korzhik.
Activator segregation and micro-luminescence properties in GAGG:Ce ceramics. Journal of Luminescence 236, 2021, p. 118140. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jlumin.2021.118140
m. korzhik, a. borisevich, a. fedorov, e. gordienko, p. karpyuk, v. dubov, p. sokolov, a. mikhlin, g. dosovitskiy, v. mechninsky, d. kozlov, v. uglov
The scintillation mechanisms in Ce and Tb doped (GdxY1-x)Al2Ga3O12 quaternary garnet structure crystalline ceramics. Journal of Luminescence 234, 2021, p. 117933. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jlumin.2021.117933
m. korzhik, v. alenkov, o. buzanov, g. dosovitskiy, a. fedorov, d. kozlov, v. mechinsky, s. nargelas, g. tamulaitis, a. vaitkevičius
Engineering of a new single-crystal multi-ionic fast and high-light-yield scintillation material (Gd0.5Y0.5)3Al2Ga3O12:Ce,Mg. CrystEngComm 22(14), 2020, pp. 2502-2506. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1039/D0CE00105H
v. alenkov, o. buzanov, g. dosovitskiy, v. egorychev, a. fedorov, a. golutvin, yu. guz, r. jacobsson, m. korjik, d. kozlov, v. mechinsky, a. schopper, a. semennikov, p. shatalov, e. shmanin.
Irradiation studies of a multi-doped Gd3Al2Ga3O12 scintillator. Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research A 916, 2019, p. 226. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.nima.2018.11.101
m. korzhik, k.-t. brinkmann, g. dosovitskiy, v. dormenev, a. fedorov, d. kozlov, v. mechinsky, h.-g. zaunick
Compact and effective detector of the fast neutrons on a base of Ce doped Gd3Al2Ga3O12 scintillation crystal. IEEE Transactions on Nuclear Science 66(1), 2019, pp. 536-540. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1109/TNS.2018.2888495
y. tratsiak, a. fedorov, g. dosovitsky, o. akimova, e. gordienko, m. korjik, v. mechinsky, e. trusova
Scintillation efficiency of binary Li2O-2SiO2 glass doped with Ce3+ and Tb3+ ions. Journal of Alloys and Compounds 735, 2018, pp. 2219 2224. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jallcom.2017.11.386
Other laboratories and scientists
Hosting organization
Field of studies
Invited researcher
Time span of the project
Laboratory for Ultra Wide-band Gap Semiconductors

National University of Science and Technology MISIS - (NUST MISIS)

Material Technology


Кузнецов Андрей Юрьевич



Laboratory for Ion-selective membranes

M.V.Lomonosov Moscow State University - (MSU)

Material Technology


Ameduri Bruno Michel



Laboratory of neural electronics and memristive nanomaterials

Southern Federal University - (SFedU)

Material Technology


Park‬ Bae Ho