Organic molecule capable of detecting explosives

  • From Spain
  • Responsive
  • Patents for licensing

Summary of the technology

Researchers from the University of Burgos have designed a method to synthesize a compound that is extremely useful in the detection of explosives, such as triacetone triperoxide. This explosive is very simple to prepare and extremely difficult to detect. The project has been subsidized by NATO and, given the potential of the molecule, a patent has been applied for to protect and commercialize it.


Details of the Technology Offer

New and innovative aspects

Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) pose a great threat to society, which is why, in recent years, methods have been developed to detect them. However, explosives such as triacetone triperoxide (TATP) are extremely difficult to detect and, given the ease with which it can be obtained, it is imperative to have simple, robust methods with sufficient sensitivity to detect these compounds. The technology developed by the University of Burgos was born to respond to these demands and position itself as an effective, affordable and easy-to-use method.

Main advantages of its use

The proprietary molecule has proven to be perfect for use as an active element in the preparation of fluorogenic sensors.
The main advantage of this technology is that it allows detecting traces of TATP in the air without the use of large and expensive equipment in a selective and ultrasensitive manner.
The detection limit is significantly low, reaching concentrations lower than 60 pM.
To add value to this technology, this method is useful for detecting a wide variety of oxidant molecules.


The naphthalimides described in the present invention, when interacting with an oxidizing molecule, undergo a modification of their fluorescence that is directly related to the concentration of oxidizing analyte.
The synthesized molecule is absorbed in different materials (anatase, silica, etc.) and, once absorbed, the interaction with the molecules of interest takes place on its surface. The detection limit of TATP has been shown to be as low as 13 ng.


Ultrasensitive detection of triacetone triperoxide, TATP, (very difficult to detect and frequently used in improvised explosive devices) in the air in real time.

Intellectual property status

Protected by patent P202330107

Current development status

Prototype available for demonstration.

Desired business relationship

Commercial Agreement, License Agreement, Technical Cooperation: further development; Technical Cooperation: testing new applications; Technical Cooperation: adaptation to specific needs.

Intellectual property status

Related Keywords

  • Physical Sciences and Exact Sciences
  • Biological Sciences
  • Protecting Man and Environment
  • Other
  • chemical sensors
  • triacetone triperoxide
  • improvised explosive devices
  • fluorescent materials
  • chemical nose prototype
  • aggregation induced emission materials


The aim of the The Technology Transfer Office (TTO) of the Univesidad de Burgos is to promote Innovation technology through the reseach results transfer and the conexions between the University and the new needs and requirements of the society - we are the link between the University and the Industry. Contact person: José Manuel López (


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