Faits marquants 2009

Structure of heterogeneous materials by diff raction tomography

The advent of the nanosciences calls for the development of local structural probes to characterize real, ill-ordered or heterogeneous materials. Furthermore, properties of materials are often related to their heterogeneity or to the presence of a minor constituent and/or to a hierarchical... > suite

Interstitial LaFeSi materials for magnetic refrigeration

Magnetic refrigeration, based on the magnetocaloric effect, has great promise for domestic and industrial use and is attractive for reasons of both economics and ecology. Compared to conventional refrigeration techniques, it should have higher power effi ciency (60% compared to at best 40%),... > suite

Absorption and fluorescence in monoclinic laser crystals

Effi cient use of new laser crystals requires a full characterization of their absorption and fl uorescence properties. For hexagonal, tetragonal, trigonal and orthorhombic crystals, these properties are described by the imaginary part of the complex second rank linear permittivity tensor which... > suite


“Voyage dans le cristal” is a major exhibition, now on display in Grenoble before touring other French cities. The exhibition presents to a general public the science and the beauty of matter in the crystalline state. The initiative came from physicists of the Institut Néel, Grenoble and the IMPMC... > suite

Wavefunction symmetry in graphene at the nanometre scale

Graphene is an unconventional two dimensional system with fascinating electronic properties. These properties - for example the half integer Quantum Hall Eff ect - come from the honeycomb crystal structure, which imposes special symmetry relations on the electronic wavefunctions, corresponding... > suite

Quantum forgetfulness of a Single Molecule Magnet

A step critical to the implementation of a quantum computer based on complex magnetic molecules (Single Molecule Magnets) is control of the decoherence mechanisms. Decoherence is the process by which a quantum system “forgets” its quantum nature and become classical when it interacts, even very... > suite

Quantized vortices in polariton Bose-Einstein Condensates

Quantized vortices are observed in a Bose-Einstein condensate of excitonic polaritons in a semiconductor. They are visualized by phase-resolved imaging of a polariton gas condensed at 20 K in a CdTe-based microcavity. Here, in contrast to the case of the Bose-Einstein condensates in liquid 4He... > suite

The topological Cooper-pair pump and its applications to metrology

Most physical systems depend on external parameters which, at special values, give additional symmetries to the system. At these points, quantum degeneracies may occur. When the parameters are easily tunable, one can explore quantum states not only at the degeneracy points but over the entire... > suite

Scientific prize

Xavier Blase, a CNRS researcher since 1996, has used simulation methods to explore varied fi elds in condensed matter physics and the nanosciences, ranging from the growth mechanisms of nanotubes, through the superconductivity of diamond and doped silicon, to electronic transport in molecular... > suite


It is a great pleasure to highlight the exceptional harvest of prizes gathered during these fi rst two years (2007-2008) of the Néel Institute’s existence. The Institute is proud to honour seven members of our staff who have received scientifi c awards in this period. These awards were of course... > suite

Origin of hysteresis effect in long Josephson junctions

In long Josephson junctions, the distance between the superconducting electrodes is such that the electrical capacitance is very low. One then expects a reversible behaviour of the Current-Voltage characteristic. However, systematically at suffi ciently large superconducting current, signifi... > suite

Bose-Einstein Condensation of magnons in superfluid 3He

When Bose-Einstein Condensation (BEC) occurs for a system of particles, all the particles condense into a unique macroscopic ground state governed by a single wave function. This phenomenon has been observed in a number of systems, including cold atomic gases, where a macroscopic number of... > suite

Towards a new generation of high Tc superconductor wires

Ideal electrical materials, superconductors off er considerable possibilities for energy applications. The high critical temperature superconductors, requiring only liquid nitrogen cooling, are being studied worldwide in view of such applications. The main eff ort at present is on epitaxially... > suite

Grenoble cryogenics honoured : Ariane 5 launches Herschel & Planck spacecraft

On 14th May 2009 an Ariane 5 rocket launched the European Space Agency’s Planck and Herschel scientific spacecraft into orbit. Cryogenic components and systems developed by Grenoble region research and technology teams are essential elements in these two missions. The two spacecraft are now... > suite

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