This topic is in the field in full rise of the nanosciences and nanotechnologies. The nanomatériaux ones are buildings which have at least a characteristic dimension lower than 100 Nm and which have, so specific properties. These nanomatériaux is generally elaborate starting from nano-objects, like nanoparticules or nanotubes, or is matrices having of the pores of nanometric size. Our activity relates at the same time to the control of the synthesis of these nano-objects or nanostructures, the study of their particular properties, and the exploration of the applications that those make it possible to consider.
Part of our activity is also turned towards comprehension of the nanometric component of interstellar dust. Side synthesis, the objective is to control their chemical composition, fonctionnalisation, size, structure and organization. The studied properties are related either to the phenomena of containment (space or quantum), or with the effects of interface, or with those of the nanostructuration. The applications considered relate to very varied fields (optical, electronic, thermostructuraux materials, catalyses, fuel cell, sensors of pollutants...) and give place to many collaborations, in France and Europe, like with contracts implying of the industrial partners.
INTERSTELLAR topic "NANOGRAINS" was justified initially by the study of the infra-red emission of an interstellar model of dust. It was initiated within the framework of the national program "Physical Chemistry of the Interstellar Environment" (PCMI) and made it possible to highlight the role of the effects of size to interpret the astronomical bands. The objective is to include/understand the role of the effects of size in the case of the carbon nanoparticules.
The activity of synthesis of "NANOPARTICULES PER LASER PYROLYSIS", initiated at the CEA as of the Eighties, experiences in this moment a strong development. Research relates on the ceramic nanopoudres and the nanocarbones and more recently to the nanoparticules for optics and those based on metal elements. Moreover, in collaboration with the Management of the Technological Research of the CEA, the study of the industrialization of the process started.
The fonctionnalisation of the nano-objects by organic molecules is an essential way allowing their handling in solution. One can thus consider their association controlled in more or less complex structures or devices in order to study or to exploit their properties. It is the objective of topic "NANOCOMPOSITES Containing NANOPARTICULES FONCTIONNALISEES", which develops this approach mainly starting from nanoparticules metal.
The carbon nanotubes are attractive objects but their mechanism of growth remains largely misunderstood and their synthesis poses many problems. It is in this context that we developed activity "CARBON NANOTUBES ALIGN BY CVD Of AEROSOLS". Based on the development of an original method of synthesis by deposit in phase vapor, it includes the study of the first moments of the growth and the structural analysis of the aligned carpets of nanotubes thus formed.
Finally, with the “CHEMICAL SENSORS OF ATMOSPHERIC POLLUTANTS” theme, novel strategies are proposed and developed for the trapping and selective detection of volatile organic compounds in partnership with industrials. They are based on the use of nanoporous thin films and monoliths with tailored pore size acting as sponges and on probe molecules which can react selectively with the targeted pollutants leading to strongly coloured or fluorescent products which are easily detectable.