Acronyme du projet/ Acronym of the project

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4.Description de l’existant/ Description of the existing


We have adopted the rule that a single person, or a small team of a few permanent researchers, can only belong to one labex project.

Along this rule, a 1st circle in the consortium gathers 349 researchers and lecturers (from 2 universities and 5 engineer’s schools), who engage to devote most of their research effort to the labex objectives. They work with 248 PhD students and 143 Post-doc, and are assisted by 112 technology engineers or assistant-engineers. We have not counted here the administrative staff, but they ofcourse hae a key role in each lab and for this project.

This 1st circle is distributed in 71 research teams from 28 laboratories, organized into 24 partners. They are supported by 13 organizations: CNRS, CEA, UP11, X, IOGS, Ecole Centrale Paris (ECP), Supélec, ENS Cachan, INRIA, ONERA, SOLEIL, Univ. Versailles-St Quentin (UVSQ), Thales.

As of today, only 16 of the 24 partners have been rated by AERES. Besides, all partners share partnership in at least two labex, so it’s not always easy to relate AERES original rating to the effective Nano-Saclay involvement of a given laboratory. 13 partners include only A+ research teams. 3 partners include A teams, one of them being IEF which however received a A+ rating for « scientific and publication quality » and « impact/attractivity ». And among unrated partners, the CNRS/Thales joint unit (Pr Fert’s lab) was not rated (because a joint unit with a company) but got a “A+” report, and other laboratories not yet evaluated such as LPN, CEA-SPCSI,… clearly exhibit scientific production and impact at A+ level.

The high quality of this consortium can also rapidly be assessed on a few numeric indicators based on the “1st circle” teams:

- on about 130 CNRS researchers we have 2 Gold, 6 Silver and 10 Bronze medals.

- on 87 lecturers we have 3 senior members and 3 junior members of Institut Universitaire de

- we count 5 Junior and 2 Advanced ERC grants (resp. 3 and 2 in 2010-2011).

- 4 members received an award from the French Academy of Science

- 92 of the 330 researchers have a H-factor above 20.

- we count above 200 publications in journals of impact factor >7 for the period 2006-10 only.

- over 350 patents have been filed by scientists of the Nano-Saclay consortium (no time limit, and some might be joint with partners of other labex).

- and researchers from NanoSaclay have already contributed to the creation of 10 start-up companies in the fields of Optic, Biomedical, Chemistry.

Moreover partners UMPhys CNRS/Thales and ILV CNRS/UVSQ are teams of respectively Pr Albert Fert, Nobel Prize 2007 and 2003 CNRS Gold Medal, and Gérard Férey, 2010 CNRS Gold medal, in both cases for works that will be at the core of the Nano-Saclay projects.

As another key asset for future developments, the Labex consortium offers a unique context, gathering world-class teams with complementary multidisciplinary expertise in the design, synthesis and nanofabrication of original nano-objects, nanomaterials or nanodevices and in the characterization and the theoretical description of their properties.

This expertise relies on world level technological, instrumental and theoretical facilities and on a full set of scientific tools and a specific know-how developed within the partners. For instance, IEF and LPN host technological centers with large clean rooms facilities, which are 2 of the 6 main national technological centers of the French Basic Technology Research network (RTB) providing all the required nanofabrication tools for the design of novel nanostructures, devices or architectures. Teams from Ecole Polytechnique and CEA will provide their experience in ab initio calculation and will profit from their insertion in the European Theoretical Spectroscopy Facility (ETSF,, which is a pool of competence for the calculation of electronic excitations and transport. With the involvement of 7 beamlines from the SOLEIL facility, the Labex will benefit from several world-class spectroscopy apparatuses dedicated to various spectromicrocopy experiments (X-PEEM and STXM), scattering experiments at fixed energy or in anomalous/resonant conditions (GIXD, GISAXS, GIDAFS, ReflEXAFS) or to spin-resolved photoemission experiments.

The panel of synthesis possibilities within the consortium is also remarkably wide for producing a large variety of nano-objects, nanostructures and nanomaterials with dedicated functional properties (magnetic or photonics nanoparticles and nanowires, nanotubes, semiconducting heterostructures, multiferroics,…) involving surface functionalisation and nanostructuration or molecular, polymer and bio-inspired self-assembly processes and advanced approaches in bioconjugate chemistry.

Several teams have a long tradition in instrumental development and will provide state-of-the art instrumentation for innovative characterisation at the nanoscale such as original imaging or spectroscopies for probing magnetic nanostructures, tissue cells or plasmonic nanostructures (by various scanning probe microscopies or transmission electron microscopy, ultra fast pump probe experiments or time resolved experiments for investigating dynamical effects) or very low temperature transport experiments. This is complemented by a large knowledge in simulation relying on descriptions spanning from the atomic scale to the macroscopic scale for modelling a wide range of physical properties (structural, electronic, optical, magnetic, mechanical or transport).

Such a gathering of complementary knowledge and knowhow is exceptional and offers the desired context for the emergence of innovative and interdisciplinary projects.

And this will be in close contact with a “2nd circle” (not detailed here) representing scientists of the Saclay area, who have the expertise and potential to joint new projects in future evolution of the Nano-Saclay labex, but are currently engaged in other projects. This comprises in particular the scientists from the Nano-Saclay partners having partnerships in several labex projects. We consider this as a unique opportunity in particular to develop multidisciplinarity in the future, as this shared partnership will create from the start close links between Nano-Saclay and other projects. We thus have contacted the coordinators of the following Labexes, and we have agreed to act together in order to favour collaborative projects at the interfaces, through instruments ranging from twin evaluation to joint support from two Labexes. This holds for the following other proposals:

  • PALM on the interface between Physics and Nano. (direct agreement with M. Mézard)

  • LasSIPS, Digitex (within the Sciences de l’Information et de la Communication, Nanosciences, Sciences de l’Ingénierie et des Système domain of the Initiative d’Excellence of Saclay)

  • 6S (direct agreement with P.-P. Zalio) on the Nano and Society aspects.

  • IRT SystemX (support letter attached in 7.5)

More generally, all Nano-Saclay partners hold parnership in several project (labex, IHU, IEED, IRT, ..) which will open formidable opportunities to access a wide range of expertise and applications, as shown in the Figure on the left

NOTICE: in the part 4.1 below, we have listed only the high profile scientists of each partners to keep the size of the description reasonable. A complete list of the Nano-Saclay personnel is attached in ANNEX 7.3. The selection rules adopted for detecting the high profile are in line with the three major objectives of a labex: excellence in research, education and valorisation. Hence we have used the following criterias:

- H-factor: despites its drawbacks, it is universally used for evaluation of the scientific profile. We have adopted the following thresholds: H>20 scientists above 40 years old, and H>15 below.

- Well recognized awards (international, Academy of Sciences, IEEE, Institut Universitaire de France (IUF), ERC awards, …).

- A significant number of patent, or innovation.

- A major role in higher education or management of research.

This should warrant that we have identified the people that will play a major role in the Nano-Saclay future.

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