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**Faits marquants 2011**

The field of Single-Molecule Magnets (SMM) is very promising, since an individual magnetic molecule represents the ultimate size limit for storing and processing information.

Periodically-poled ferroelectric crystals are a promising optical media where the frequency conversion can be tailored by a periodic structure of ferroelectric domains of alternating polarity, imprinted into the material.

A novel, doubly-chiral magnetic order is found in the structurally-chiral langasite compound Ba3NbFe3Si2O14. Neutron scattering reveals a totally-chiral magnetic ground-state.

Realization of an efficient single-photon source - a device that can produce photons one by one on demand - from semiconductor quantum dots (QDs) inserted inside a photonic nanowire.

Predicted forty years ago, supersolids have received renewed interest after a possible observation in 4He. We made a theoretical study of strong quantum fluctuation effects in a polarized antiferromagnet with spin-ice properties at the classical limit.

The Planck Surveyor scientific consortium has published its first results after 15 months of successful operation. One of Planck’s key technologies, the 100 mK cooler for its high frequency detectors, was invented at the Institut Néel. (Read more (PDF))

Phase transitions are ubiquitous : from the crystallization of water into ice, to the alignment of electron spins inside a magnet, to the emergence of superconductivity in a cooled metal. (...)

Devices based on organic films and/or functionalized inorganic molecules have been proposed. When deposited on metal surfaces, C60 (fullerene) molecule creates regularly ordered, nanometre scale holes.

There is an interesting parallel between quantum entanglement and the formation of spin-dimers in quasi one dimensional (Quasi-1D) Heisenberg S=1/2 compounds and Quasi-1D S=1 systems.

Surface Plasmon Polaritons (SPPs) are hybrid electron-photon states propagating at the interface between a metal and an insulator. As surface waves, SPPs can be guided in structures that are miniaturized beyond the diffraction limit.

Phonons are tiny packets of vibrational energy, quanta of vibration of the lattice, and provide a path for thermal conductance. At low temperature, the probability of phonon scattering greatly decreases and, finally, heat transport is limited only by scattering on the rough surface of the solid.

We have nanofabricated a mesoscopic assembly of interacting nanomagnets, with statistical properties described by an Ising-like spin Hamiltonian. We observe the emergence of a phase where spins fluctuate while classical magnetic charges, associated with these spins, crystallize.

Using microfabrication techniques we controlled the adhesion of cells to a substrate at the micron scale. Experiments using these techniques together with numerical simulations have shown the property of biological cells to minimize their energy.

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