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Physics – Light – Material (PLUM)


The relations between structure and physical properties are at the heart of our research actions.

The department draws on its expertise in the physics of radiation-matter interactions across the entire spectral range from infrared to X-rays.

Several approaches to elaborate inorganic, organic, semiconductor or intermetallic matters as powders, solid crystals, thin layers, nano-structured or nano-crystal materials, are mastered by the department: crystallogenesis, soft chemistry, high temperature and high pressure solid-state chemistry, epitaxy growth (MBE or CVD, notably in association with CEA-INAC), and ultra-vacuum evaporation. The structural characterisation of materials relies on solid expertise in crystallography (DRX, TEM) and our strong scientific involvement with the large instruments (ESRF and ILL).
We measure and model the linear and non-linear optical properties – both conventional and quantum, to single photon level – of materials ranging from solid crystals to nano-objects of subwavelength sizes. We study the opto-mechanical properties of nano-objects and the particularities of the light-matter coupling of hybrid metal objects (plasmonics) and semiconductors, as well as semiconductor nano-objects built into microcavities or antennas. Our research on semiconductors covers fundamental fields as well as photovoltaic or power electronics applications.

All our research depends upon the development of specific instruments and methodologies to enable the study of structural, optical, magneto-caloric, magnetic, electronic transport and thermal conductivity properties at the scales required.


Technology and industrial partnership

We develop monochromators and scattering/diffraction equipments with larger instruments (lines CRG ESRF and ILL) in laboratory . We make installations for development of materials and physical measurements (transport, thermal, structure, reactivity…) under extreme conditions (high temperatures and pressures, low temperatures): cell for supercritical fluids, regulation HP-HT, HP- electrovalves, vacuum furnaces We make solid state hydrogen storage and magnetic refrigerating systems. This expertise combined to our material skills is reflected in number of patent applications and licenses in partnership with companies.


More than internships and the investment of our assistants and full professors to Grenoble Alps University, education is one of priorities department thanks to many specific actions.

Research equipments are made available for practical works or student projects. From the first year of university until the second year of master, more than 200 hours of training are teached by the department staff. This relates especially students from Polytech Grenoble, Professional Master student of quality assurance, quality control procedures, methods of validation from UFR, pharmacology and Engineering of Micro and Nanostructures and “CESIRES” platforms from UGA.

Trainings for PhD, young researchers, or engineers and technicians are also provided, in particular for Doctoral School of Chemistry and life sciences, in X-ray spectroscopy as part of permanent training of CNRS with FAME+. Or as part of technological network of CNRS (MRCT).

The department is also invest in HERCULES European training who concerns structural characterizations methods on the large instruments synchrotron and neutron.