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Materials: synthesis, structure and functions

The Institut Néel deploys extensive expertise in the field of Materials Science, extending from synthesis and growth techniques to structural and functional characterization, backed by theoretical studies.

Growth and synthesis methods include growth in solution or from the melt, confined growth, synthesis by “soft chemistry” methods or at high temperatures and pressures, as well as numerous physical deposition techniques (pulverization, ablation, plasmas, molecular beam epitaxy …) We produce carbon materials: graphite, diamond as a thin film or as auto-assembled nano-objects or integrated into hybrid heterostructures.

The work in crystal growth and synthesis is often motivated by the functions of materials. We develop crystal engineering and crystal growth of new superconducting or multiferroic materials but also of crystals or nanocrystals for non-linear optics and fluorescence. Other types of material are nanostructured for hydrogen storage, magneto-caloric effects, superconducting and thermoelectric thin films. Theoretical studies (models and ab initio methods) are aimed at understanding the transport, electronic excitation, non-linear and spectroscopic properties of these materials.

The Institute benefits from a long history of expertise in crystallography. Especially on the beam lines of the Large International Facilities, we develop new spectroscopic and structural methods using X-Rays and Precession Electron Diffraction. This expertise is also applied to the physicochemical properties of cultural, archaeological and pharmaceutical materials.

Diffraction pattern of rolled aluminium bear can