The research carried out at the CIRIMAT Institute focuses on the main typologies of materials (metals, alloys, ceramics, polymers, composites) and solids with large sa/vol ratios (films and nanoparticles), and especially on surface and interface reactivity and on the dynamics of macromolecular systems.
Powders, nanomaterials, nanocomposites
Innovative materials finely divided at a nanometric scale are developed through processes such as ’chimie douce’ (low temperature synthesis, precursor decomposition, sol-gel) or by catalysed CVD (chemical vapour deposition).
The synthesized materials are studied as powder or sintering-compacted materials (especially through Spark Plasma Sintering - SPS), to make dense, often nanostructured materials (ceramics, biomaterials, powder metallurgy).
The preparation of nanoparticles and nanocomposites whose properties are remarkable (carbon nanotubes, mixed valence oxides, nanocrystalline apatites) takes a large part in our research.
A strong asset at the CIRIMAT Institute is the physical-chemical and in-depth structural characterisation of the various steps in question using high-performance and complementary processes.
Functional films, protective coatings, deposition processes
Thin films of different materials are deposited via CVD, PVD (physical vapour deposition) processes, sol-gel (dip-coating, spin-coating) or by electrodeposition.
Specialists in these processes and pilot facilities (especially in clean rooms) are available on our premises to carry out developments on an industrial scale.
Their optimisation requires the analysis of film growth mechanisms and the modelling of the phenomena in question. Novel and specific molecular precursors are often used.
The materials under scrutiny are mainly oxide films for applications in energy, catalysis and electronics. Their magnetic and magneto-optical properties play a large role in information storage.
Some studies also focus on metal films, non-oxide ceramics, composite coatings (tribology). Anti-corrosion protection by inhibitors, electromechanical conversion films or organic coatings are being studied as well.
Surface reactivity, structure-mechanics-environment
The assessment of specific protection treatment is conducted via state-of-the-art electrochemical techniques used to analyse surface reactivity and corrosion mechanisms.
We especially focus on the study, modelling and prediction of microstructural transformations, structure materials durability under severe mechanical strains and conditions and high-temperature oxidation.
Multi-scale studies and specific tools have been implemented to analyse solid-solid interface behaviour and property gradients.
Behaviour laws in Polymers, ageing, organic composites
Research into polymers revolves around the analysis of thermal, mechanical, electrical structure-properties links and the establishment of behaviour laws, especially polymer ageing and correlated transition and relaxation phenomena.
Courbes de niveau de permittivité diélectrique de polymère
Among others, we aim to optimise the use of electroactive or thin barrier films, elaborate multi-functional hybrid composites and nanocomposites and to develop complex architecture macromolecular systems for specific properties.