Structures, Properties and Modeling of Solids (SPMS) - CNRS-UMR 8580

Research fields

This research axis studies and proposes new materials for energy applications, more specifically for nuclear power and hydrogen technologies.
This axis includes the team CARMEN (joint Research Laboratory between CentraleSupélec, CNRS and CEA) which focuses on the properties of ceramic materials at thermodynamic equilibrium and out of equilibrium. This team also studies the influence of synthesis conditions on materials properties and the degradation of these properties under irradiation and extreme conditions of primer importance for nuclear applications.
This axis also includes an activity on materials for hydrogen technologies, whose objective is to propose high performance materials to make Solid Oxide Cells working at lower temperature or to produce hydrogen from solar light. An important activity concerns the measurement of electrical properties under controlled temperature and atmosphere.

This research axis focuses on functional oxides, whose properties are governed by electrical polarization, mechanical elasticity, magnetization and the coupling between all these ferroic properties. Our objective is (i) to design and develop new materials controlling different scales (crystals, ceramics, thin films, nanowires, nanocomposites, heterostructures, …) (ii) study new functionalities for potential applications in electronics (ferroelectric memories, acoustic filters, spin electronics, ….), energy (energy harvesting, electrical energy storage, photovoltaïcs, …), oil prospection (transducers) or even on bio-systems (biomechanical prostheses) and (iii) to understand the microscopic mechanisms (electromechanical, magnetoelectrical, photoelectrical coupling) involved in these functionalities to optimize and predict materials behavior. This research lays on advanced elaboration, nanostructuration, characterization and modelling tools.

The scientific objective of the axis is the development of theoretical and experimental innovative methods for the understanding of crystalline solids. For theoretical aspects, we focus on the development of new functionals and approaches within the Density Functional Theory and on the treatment of quantum effects through molecular dynamics. From the experimental point of view, we could mention the non-photochemical laser induced nucleation and the specific methods for the joint analysis of solids from different experiences (diffraction, Compton, …). This research is developed with the Parma University of Paris-sud. For this reason, all these methods have been widely applied to molecular drugs, but other systems include thermoelectric or dielectric oxides.


Nuclear industry, ceramic materials for the 4th generation reactors, functional ceramics, multilayer supercapacitors, piezoelectric transducers, electrostrictive actuators, biomedical field, pharmaceutical industry, hydrogen technologies, nanostructured ceramics.



Nuclear fuel safety, efficiency, and waste management are fundamental challenges that underpin technology development for advanced nuclear energy systems. The problem of understanding and developing a predictive capability for the evolution of fuels is challenging, even for phenomena that appear simple. Our research is aimed to understand microstructural evolutions and phase stability under relevant chemical and physical conditions, chemistry and structural evolution at interfaces, using neutron scattering, numerical models, andspectroscopies (Raman, tracer diffusion, impedance, …) in uranium-based oxides and fission-product solutions, representing model nuclear fuels and waste forms. One of the results of our improved description of uranium oxidation on an atomic level is the assessment of a new model for the oxidation kinetics of nuclear fuels in accident scenarii.

Figure. Experimental and simulated atomic scale changes of the O ion sublattice as the oxidation progresses in a uranium oxide fuels (left UO2.24, right UO2.33).• Reference: D.A. Andersson, G. Baldinozzi, L. Desgranges, D.R. Conradson, S.D. Conradson, Inorganic Chemistry 03/2013; 52(5):2769-78 



Ferroelectric nano-objects are the next-generation bricks for advanced microelectronic. We have recently classified the different mechanisms at play during synthesis of these objects, some of them based on Turing original ideas about competing chemical reactions. We have also shown that depending of the shape of these objects, hyper-toroidal momentum of polarization could be used to build ultra-high density memories.


Figure. Morphogenesis mechanisms of ferroelectric nano-objects

References: C. Bogicevic, G. Thorner, F. Karolak, P. Haghi-Ashtiani, J.M. Kiat, Nanoscale, 2015, 7, 3594–3603. G. Thorner, J.M. Kiat, C. Bogicevic, I. Kornev Phys.Rev. 2014, B89, 220103(R),





NPLIN is a technique that allows the controlling of nucleation through laser light. The laser intensity and polarization (circular, linear) can be used to control the nucleation speed and polymorphic form. Briefly, a LASER light (532 nm, 7 ns, 10 Hz) is applied on a supersaturated i.e. metastable solution of an organic species. Once this solution is submitted to laser light during a short time (typically few seconds), some minutes to hours after, micrometric crystallites are detected via an optical microscope, indicating that nucleation has been induced by LASER.. The term ‘non-photochemical’ is used to indicate that there is no chemical transformation of the molecules.
The potentialities of this method is (i) to be able to produce given structural forms of molecular crystals (ii) to produce high quality crystals with very little defect density [1, 2].

Figure. NPLIN of carbamazepine under linear (LP) or circular (CP) polarization. left) carbamazepine III right) carbamazepine I
References : [1] B. Clair, A. Ikni, W. Li, P. Scouflaire, V. Quemener, and A. Spasojevic-de Bire, J. Appl. Cryst. 47, 1252-1260 (2014); [2] A. Ikni, B. Clair, P. Scouflaire, S. Veesler, J.-M. Gillet, N. ElnHassan, F. Dumas, and A. Spasojevic-de Biré, Cryst. Growth Des. 14, 3286-3299 (2014) [3] A. Spasojevic-De Biré, International innovation, 2013, sept, 44-46 [4] J. Belloni, A. Spasojevic-De Biré, S. Sorgues, M. Mostafavi, P. Scoufflaire, N.-E. Ghermani, Actualité chimique, 2014, juil.-août-sept.-oct. 2014 - n° 387-388-389



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Director Guilhem Dezanneau Phone : +33 1 41 13 14 20 Email : Personal Assistant Christine Vinée-Jacquin Phone : 01 41 13 18 82 Email :


Schlumberger, Coorstek, Thalès and Thalès Underwater Systems, Ferroperm, Imasonic (Echographie médicale), Ixsea (Sonar), ST micro, Leti, Horiba-Jobin Yvon, Saint-Gobain, NanoE


National: CEA-Saclay, Cadarache, École Polytechnique, Faculty of Pharmacology (Châtenay-Malabry), Universities of Orsay, Paris VI, Dijon, Bordeaux, Amiens, Le Mans , Nancy, ENSG, ILL, ESRF, LLB, Soleil, LETI, Thiais, Vitry, etc.

International: Universities of Tokyo Waseda, Spring8, Arkansas, Brookhaven, EPFL, Kraków, Marrakech, Belgrade, Genoa, Lisbao, Ljubliana, Hanoï, Cranfield, Barcelona, Xi'an.

Key Figures

  • Faculty researchers and researchers: 11
  • Associated researchers: 6
  • Administrative and technical staff: 12
  • Doctoral students: 18
  • Publications in international refereed journals (source: Web of Science): 36


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