Physics of Metals


The focus of the team PM is to study physical, chemical and mechanical properties of materials in order to understand their structure and microstructure and to optimize their properties. The team also develops new methodological and instrumental techniques.

Research activities

  • Complex materials. We study the atomic and electronic structure of complex functional materials such as quasi-crystals, approximants and metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) by using characterization techniques and ab initio calculations;
  • Metallurgy and structural alloys. We study bulk metallic alloys: the origin of their microstructure and their link with properties such as mechanical properties and corrosion. We focus on steel and Al-based alloys;
  • Structure and properties at the sub-micrometric scale. We study how size effects affect a diverse set of properties: electric transport, mechanical, magnetic and dielectric properties. We also study thin films, islands and interfaces.

Methodological and instrumental development

On the experimental side, we use and develop new techniques and data analysis approaches: synchrotron techniques (3D imaging using coherent diffraction, SAXS, XPS) and lab equipment (combinatorial elaboration, nano-indentation coupled with electrical measurements, TEM-astar, and mechanical testing). On the computational side, we employ and develop finite elements, morphological optimizations (multiconstraints) and electronic structure ab initio methods.

Team publications

Recent Phd theses