The CNRS node comprises researchers from four CNRS groups with a strong established collaboration. The first group, “Unité Mixte de Physique CNRS/Thales” (UMPhy), created in 1995, is a part of a joint laboratory between CNRS and the industrial company Thales and is located in Palaiseau, France. UMPhy is also associated with University Paris-Sud (now Paris-Saclay) since 2000. The creation of the joint laboratory followed a longstanding collaboration between Albert Fert’s group at University Paris-Sud Thomson-CSF (now Thales). This fruitful collaboration led to the discovery of giant magnetoresistance (GMR) in 1988 whose major importance was recognized by the 2007 Physics Nobel prize. Beyond spintronics, UMPhy has an important research activity on functional oxides including ferroelectrics and multiferroics. It includes epitaxial thin film growth by pulsed laser deposition or sputtering, structural characterizations, electrical measurements, and advanced scanning probe microscopy investigations of polar and magnetic textures.
The second group, “Laboratoire Charles Coulomb“(CNRS-L2C) is a CNRS unit associated to Université de Montpellier. The laboratory gathers 226 researchers, engineers and technicians, with a very strong tradition of research in modern condensed and soft matter physics. CNRS-L2C participates in TSAR with the team of Vincent Jacques, who has pioneered applications of scanning-NV magnetometry in condensed matter physics. His team is hosting two fully operational NV-based scanning magnetometers, taking advantage of the full capabilities of this imaging technique to explore and harness open questions in modern condensed matter physics, including domains walls dynamics and exotic spin textures featuring periodic orders (spin cycloids, magnetic vortices or skyrmions) in insulating oxides or ultrathin multilayer stackings. The team currently extends the functionality of the NV-based scanning probes to electric sensing in order to image ferroelectric order at the nanoscale.
The third group is part of the “Centre for nanoscience and nanotechnology” (C2N), a joint research unit between CNRS and Universite Paris-Saclay, with 400 people including 120 researchers and 80 technical & administrative staff. Located at the heart of Campus Paris-Saclay, in the south of Paris, it is providing access to its characterization and materials growth platforms. The Oxide team from the Materials department brings its expertise on oxide growth, in particular of lead-based FE and AFE perovskites. The involved researchers have a recognized track record in the integration of functional oxides for electronic and photonic devices.
The fourth group led by Philippe Zeitoun is based at Ecole Polytechnique, in a joint CNRS/Ecole Polytechnique/ENSTA unit, the Laboratoire d’Optique Appliqué. It is now hosting the group of H. Merdji, previously at CEA. He has opened a new lab facility, NanoLight dedicated to HHG generated by mid-infrared light and application in condensed matter. Main applications of the lab are focused on attosecond science in 2D, 3D semicondutors, petahertz electronics, ultrafast nanoscale imaging and more recently on strong field quantum physics.
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