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Actions funded in progress Doctoral contracts and Innovation internships

Doctoral contracts awarded in 2021

Okba Mostefaoui - LMFA/IMP

Experimental study of model plastic micro-particles motion in urban hydrosystems
In the context of urban micro-plastic wastes management in sewer networks and combined storms overflows, this PhD project studies plastic micro-particles dynamics in flows typical of urban hydrosystems. In this study, model particles will be manufactured with varying properties (shape, size, density…) and placed in open channel flows in order to study their dynamic (transport, entrapment…) in different flow configurations.

Sabrina Grenda - LMI/ILM

The objective of the thesis is to develop multifunctional metal-organic molecular materials with magnetic and transport properties (electrical conductivity). The thesis project involves the synthesis of ligands of borazine type substituted by nitroxide radicals to be complexed with magnetic metal ions (3-5d or 4f). We expect these architectures to have ferri- or ferromagnetic and conduction properties by delocalization of the radical electrons on the borazine core. The compounds will be structurally characterized by X-ray diffraction and their magnetic and electrical properties will be studied with a focus on understanding the relationships with the structure of these systems.

Morgane Zimmer - INL/IMP

The objective of the thesis is to develop new eco-responsible processes adapted to industrial production for the fabrication of microfluidic systems allowing the study of spheroids. The first phase of the project involves the use of biopolymers, such as chitosan, functionalized or not, in association with other biopolymers or natural molecules, to form microstructured and sealed structures. The second phase of the project consists of providing permanent magnetisation properties to these structures by incorporating magnetic nanoparticles organised under a magnetic field. Finally, the last phase of the project will be the realisation of a microfluidic system comprising a magnetic channel allowing the selective separation of cells, and a perfused micro-culture chamber allowing the study of spheroids in a controlled environment.

Mathias Desseaux - LMI/ILM

The objective of the thesis is to propose new experimental investigations and thermodynamic modelling for the phase equilibrium diagrams of different Magnesium - Transition Metal (Mg-X; X = Fe, Mn ...) binary systems.
First, the thesis will focus on the High Temperature (HT) study of these binary systems. In particular, the Liq-Liq miscibility gaps, which have been little studied experimentally until now.
Then, a study under High Pressure (HP) will be carried out in collaboration with the ILM through the use of the experimental park proposed by the PLECE.
Finally, the acquired experimental data will be used for a thermodynamic modelling (CALPHAD) with pressure and temperature variables.

Doctoral contracts awarded in 2020


Magnetic resonance spectroscopy can be used to detect and identify paramagnetic species and usually relies on detecting the absorption or emission of microwaves by their spins. As these spins are weakly coupled to the microwave field, its use is restricted to sufficiently concentrated samples. Using quantum circuits techniques developed in the Quantum Circuits group of the Laboratoire de Physique à l’ENS de Lyon, the detection sensitivity can be considerably improved. This allows to measure samples available only in small volumes, such as the diamagnetic molecular probes conceived by the group Chimie-BioOrganique of Laboratoire de Chimie à l’ENS de Lyon, which might lead to precious new insights in their structures and internal processes.

Pauline Bregigeon - AMPERE/ILM

The subject of the thesis consists in developing a solution enabling culture and monitoring of spheroids of controlled size and shape, easy introduction of fresh medium and reagents and subsequent electroporation inside a unique device. This involves the study of fluid transport within microstructured hydrogels and of the effects of pulsed electric fields on spheroids. These effects will be characterized by impedance spectroscopy and by confocal microscopy and the results will guide the design and fabrication of an integrated bioreactor using 3D plastronics. This device will enable the manipulation of hundreds of spheroids in parallel, thereby providing a unique tool for evaluating in vitro the efficacy of treatments based on electroporation, such as electrochemotherapy or electro-gene therapy.

Louis Combe - ILM/MATEIS

We are experimentally studying the slow shear of a compressed granular medium, where energy continually accumulates in the structure of the medium and is released by sudden and intermittent reorganizations, called avalanches. A combined approach of fracture mechanics, statistical physics and artificial intelligence will allow a better understanding of the dynamics of catastrophic avalanches.

Camille Zoude - MATEIS/CETHIL

Thermochemical energy storage in hygroscopic salts - ceramics architectured composites
Thermochemical energy storage is a promising technique for storing intermittent thermal energy (of solar origin for example). It is based on the hydration and dehydration of hygroscopic salts. However, during the cycles of use, the efficiency of the storage devices decreases, in particular because of an uncontrolled agglomeration of the salts.
This thesis project aims to propose porous ceramic matrices, able to trap very large quantities of salts while avoiding their aggolmeration, and therefore to increase the efficiency and lifespan of thermochemical energy storage systems.

Laura Vanessa Reyes Villamizar - LGPC/IRCELYON

In the framework of Biorefinery and the long-term production of raw materials from renewable resources, this project aims to design and implement a reactive distillation process for the recovery of carboxylic acids from black liquor. For this purpose, solid acid catalysts based on mixed oxides materials will be prepared, characterized and implemented in stirred tank reactors and in a lab-scale distillation column.

Innovation interneship 2023-2024

ICBMS/IRCELYON - Master 2 Chimie - Original thiolated organic ligands for the development of innovative thermoelectric materials

The objective of the M2 internship will be to synthesise various thiolated aromatic ligands capable of generating coordination polymers with varying dimensionality and porosity, thereby modulating their electrical properties. This will provide us with a initial working foundation to establish a general trend and a guideline for these effects on electrical and thermal conductivities (Collab. IRCELyon, ILM).
Key words : Organic synthesis, Environment, Energy recycling, Innovative materials.

MATEIS/ILM - Master 2 Matériaux - Influence of electric field during the reactive sintering of AION

Dense AlON (Oxy Nitride of Aluminum) is a material with really interesting optical and mechanical properties. Few companies have the know how to make it. The goal of internship is to develop a single step energy-efficient process for producing transparent AlON (short processing time). We will explore the physical phenomena involved in the reactive sintering in order to optimize the process parameters.

INL - Master 2 Nanocsale Engineering - Dynamical Engineering of Microlasing Emission exhibiting topological singularity

Initially discovered in the 1920s in quantum mechanics, bound states in the continuum (BIC) now have groundbreaking applications in modern photonics. This internship focuses on dynamically controlling microlasing emission by harnessing topological singularities from BIC states in metasurfaces of nanostructures. It offers a unique opportunity to merge theory with practical photonics, with direct implications in quantum optics and photonic communications.

LMI/IMP/LGEF - M2 MISTE - Technologie hydrogène : membrane de purification à base de nanostructures percolantes de Pd

The growing demand for reliable and sustainable renewable energy sources is driving the current development of a hydrogen-based economy. Nowadays, cost-effective and efficient means to separate hydrogen gas from other species are still challenging and membrane separation approaches are reviewed as an advantageous processes over contemporary techniques due to the environmentally friendly nature, economically viable pathway, and easily adaptable technology and simple integration in existing industrialized apparatus.
The objective of the proposed M2 intership is to elaborate membranes consisting of a percolating nanoscale network of palladium nanoparticles (Pd NPs) imbedded into a polymer matrix (cellulose acetate and polysulfone). This nanocomposite system will allow to better study the mechanisms involved in the transport of gases through membranes and to be able to define the dominant phenomena that appear during gas diffusion. The performance of the resulting membranes will be evaluated thanks to the relationship between their structure/morphology/gas transport properties.

INL/IMP - M2 Nanoscale Engineering, M2 Physique

Laboratory-on-a-chip (LoC) devices can be used for a wide range of biomedical applications. However, most are made from hydrocarbon-based polymers, and the increase in single-use testing will have a negative impact on the environment, both in terms of manufacturing and disposal. We propose to develop an eco-responsible manufacturing chain for lab-on-a-chip based on a biopolymer, chitosan, a non-toxic, biocompatible, biodegradable and antimicrobial polysaccharide obtained by recycling waste from the seafood industry.

ILM - Master 2 Physique

This internship aims to understand the complex interactions between atmospheric particles and electromagnetic radiation, exploring both linear and non-linear interaction processes, particularly sensitive to the solid-liquid interface whose impact on climate remains to be quantified, as emphasized by the IPCC. Emerging from a budding collaboration between the research groups ATMOS and ONLI at iLM, this internship includes the study of sea-salt particle behaviour at various humidity levels.
Sulfate, salt, mineral, biogenic particles, probed with both linear and non-linear interaction with electromagnetic radiation.


IMP/CP2M - M2 MSD - Synthesis of graphene-armored polymer latexes by surfactant-free emulsion polymerization

The goal of this internship is to synthesize so-called armored latex particles composed of a polymer core surrounded by a shell of conductive graphene sheets by emulsion polymerization. To overcome the low affinity of graphene sheets with water, we propose a new strategy based on mechanical exfoliation of commercial graphite in the presence of polymers with attractive interactions for the sp2 carbon surface of graphene. Such polymeric dispersants will be synthesized by Reversible Addition Fragmentation Chain Transfer (RAFT) polymerization and chain extended with hydrophobic monomers to form the targeted armored morphology. The resulting composite suspensions will be cast into films and their mechanical and electrical properties will be characterized.
Synthetic procedure for graphene-based conductive films

INL - Nano Scale Engineering (Lyon) Next-Generation Customizable Inorganic Charge Transport Layers for High-Efficiency Photovoltaics

In silicon photovoltaic cells, the separation of photogenerated charge carriers (electron and hole) is achieved by the creation of a p-n junction (diode), fabricated by thermal diffusion at high temperature. The aim of the project is to replace this structure with thin films of transition metal oxides, enabling direct selective contact with silicon. These thin films are deposited by low-temperature CVD or PVD methods.

LCENSL/ISA - Capteurs multimodaux pour la détection électrochimique et optique exaltée fabriqués par micro-impression 3D à 2 photons

Notre objectif est de développer une nouvelle génération de capteurs multimodaux permettant une caractérisation multi-échelle très sensible de systèmes complexes via l'électrochimie et la Diffusion Raman exaltée de surface. Notre stratégie de développement repose sur l'impression 3D de microstructures d'or induite par absorption à 2 photons afin d'atteindre les performances analytiques requises.

Innovation interneship 2022-2023

LCENSL - Master 2 Chemistry and Materials Science - Alternative ways to the use of siccatives for varnish drying

Drying oils such as linseed oils are the basic components of oil paints and oil-based varnishes. They harden from a fluid state into a solid semi-transparent film through a polymerization process controlled by oxidation of the unsaturated bonds of the polyunsaturated triglycerides that constitute the oil. Hardening, drying or curing is a complex process that is usually accelerated by the presence of oil drying agents, also known as siccatives. Prepared as coordination compounds from metal ions, siccatives have recently evolved to adapt to the REACH directives but are likely to become under more intense scrutiny in a near future as environment protection rules evolve. In this context there is thus a strong interest to explore alternative routes for controlling the oxidation process leading to oil curing.
During this project, a Master trainee supported by the Innovation gratification of the iMUST Labex will work for 6 months in the Marques group at the Chemistry Laboratory of the ENS- Lyon and at the LAMCOS-INSA with André Schroder to oxidize oils and oil components relevant for its hardening initiation. The project will be developed in close contact with the research department of the Blanchon group that will help to better identify the most relevant oils for the study, and will perform industry-standard tests for the quality of the films resulting from the curing process.
Carlos Marques at the Chemistry Laboratory of the ENS-Lyon and André Schroder at the LAMCOS-INSA have developed photosensitization methods for the fast and easy oxidation of unsaturated lipids. Oxidized species that are the first intermediates in the process of oil hardening will be identified, and the oxidation will be regulated as a potential alternative route to control the kinetics of oil polymerization.
Based in Lyon, the Blanchon Group is active in Europe, America and Asia through its subsidiaries, organizations and distributors, with more than 400 employees in 9 countries. The 190 years old Lyonese group develops and produces paints and lacquers. The R&D of the group has a declared strategy for technological innovation and sustainable development.

INL - Master science technology and health - Intestinal cell growth on biomimetic scaffolds and under external magnetic fields

Intestinal barrier is characterized by different levels of tissue curvatures that are in constant remodeling during its embryonic formation and during its physiological operating. Moreover, in pathological conditions, intestinal topography and tissue movements are strongly impaired. In vitro microsystems allow systematic studies about the role of mechanical parameters on cell behavior, but currently there are no tools to reproduce these curvatures changes. By coupling hydrogel microstructuration and magnetic field remote control, we can achieve in vitro microsystems with the aim to better understand heterogeneous tissue formation and maintenance. The goal of the internship is to grow intestinal organoids on microstructured hydrogels to study cell responses to external magnetic fields.

ILM - M2 Physics - Plant-derived metamaterials for ultrasonic energy harvesting

Ultrasonic energy harvesting is a promising wireless energy transfer solution to power miniaturized devices for communication and biosensing. However, most current ultrasonic harvesters operate using lead-based piezoelectric materials that are not biocompatible and sustainable. Plants present a bio-based materials’ platform to overcome these challenges due to their piezoelectric behavior. We aim to design plant-based materials for ultrasonic energy harvesting. This internship will focus on identifying phononic features for energy localization in plants.

ILM - M2 Physics - Improving the performance of solid electrolytes for Li-ion battery

Solid state batteries are seen as a great advance in overcoming some of the limiting factors of commercial Li-ion batteries that use liquid electrolyte (flammable component) such as safety and enhanced power and energy density. Unfortunately, solid state batteries face several challenges that require a better understanding of their manufacturing. With this collaborative project, we intend to study the mechanical properties and shaping/sintering of the solid electrolyte and electrode composite materials at the interface. High pressure/high temperature sintering studies at ILM will be combined with electrochemical tests at LEPMI, Grenoble, to find out the optimal parameters for proper solid state battery cycling.

LAMCOS - M2 Biomechanics - KneeScop Project

Noises coming from the knee joint in motion are believed to provide useful information about its health. This project aims to develop a functional prototype of an acoustic sensor adapted to a human knee. It should be ready to use in a hospital environment in future to collect data from patients. This project is collaboration between LamCoS (tribology, acoustics) and Ampere (plastronics) laboratories.

ICBMS - M2 Chimie Lyon -Photo-switchable Receptors for CO2 Capture and Release

Currently, the challenge is not the capture but the post-capture release of CO2 at a low energy cost. In this context, we propose the use of a synthetic molecular receptor capable of stabilizing, through weak intramolecular interactions, the CO2 fixation products. This unique receptor is designed to undergo a configurational change following a light stimulus, leading to the dissociation of the complex between the receptor and CO2 which has lost its major source of stabilization.

ILM - M2 Any physics or nanoscience master - Embedded nanomagnets for thermoelectricity

Nanostructuring or embedding nanoparticles in a matrix are some promising paths that can lead to enhanced thermoeletric properties. Following recently reported results
demonstrating the potentiality of magnetic nanoparticles, this training period aims at initiating a research activity on innovative nano-composite materials for thermoelectricity,
using Co or CoPt clusters deposited under ultrahigh vacuum in a germanium matrix. We will characterize the structure (crystal phase, interfaces, organization) as well as
the magnetic properties and, if possible, the transport properties (electronic/thermal) of model samples.

Innovation internships 2021-2022

IRCELYON - M2 Synthesis Catalysis and Sustainable Chemistry (SCSC)/Master Chimie Lyon - New class of hybrid halides for optoelectronic applications

The present project supported by IMUST intend to develop new class of hybrid perovskites for photovoltaic applications. The target compounds are Halides based compounds using hallow atoms with general formula of [M(L)]3+[M’2X9]3-. Original synthesis techniques and a multi scale characterization will be performed at IRCELYON with the goal to propose new class of solar absorbers.

INL - M2 Nanoscale Engineering/3rd year (equivalent M2) Engineering School, Ecole Centrale de Lyon -What happens at the nanometrical scale at the Liquid/Solid Interface ?

The objective of the internship is to implement an Atomic Force Microscope AFM to get access to a new mode : the 3D-AFM Mode.
In this mode, the AFM tip is scanned in Z direction as well as in XY directions to image the whole 3D interfacial space in the few nanometers into the liquid. This original technique is the only one which allows to follow directly the organization of water molecules around adsorbed biological molecules or at the surface of organic layers. Somme applications in tribology and for conception of biosensors are being considered.
The candidate should have knowledges in Physics or Physico-chemistry and a strong taste fore multidisciplinary studies , instrumentation and experimenatl work . No special skills in Biology are necessary.

INL - Master 2 in Chemistry or in Nanoscale engineering 3rd year students from Ecole Centrale de Lyon (Bio-Engineering and Nanotechnoly option) - Gold-based nanoparticles for photo-induced hyperthermia on pancreatic tumor environment to facilitate the penetration of anti-cancer agents

Pancreatic cancer is a challenge for oncologists due to unfavorable prognosis and limited treatment options. Chemotherapy efficacy is weak because of the limited diffusion of cytotoxic molecules to the target cells, due to the particularly dense tumor microenvironment. In collaboration with the Assistance Publique-Hôpitaux de Paris (AP-HP), we propose to study the influence of various physical stimuli to locally alter the properties of tumor tissue and thus facilitate the penetration of anti-cancer agents. Gold-based nanoparticles (NPs) are able to produce photothermia which allows to improve for instance the efficacy of chemotherapeutic drugs on cancer cells, which are more sensitive to heat than healthy cells.
The Master internship student will work on this project in collaboration with 3 laboratories involved in the iMUST Labex: Institut des Nanotechnologies de Lyon (INL), Institut Lumière Matière (ILM) and Laboratoire Ampère. The student will synthesize different gold nanostructures (nanorods, core-shell) exhibiting near infrared absorption properties at INL, a spectral region in which the absorption and scattering of biological tissues is minimized. They will be studied in vitro on 2D and then 3D cell cultures (spheroids) and exposed to infrared. A device currently developed by Ampère and ILM for spheroid electroporation will be used for this purpose. It allows culture of hundreds of spheroids of similar size and shape in a microstructured hydrogel and easy medium exchange/reagent injection while avoiding spheroid handling steps. The NPs penetration and distribution in cells will be quantified by optical microscopy and correlated to the therapeutic efficiency. In particular, gold NPs will be detected through their two-photon excited photoluminescence properties using the multiphoton microscope on the Lyon NanOpTec platform.

ILM - Master 2 Nanoscale Lyon, Phelma Grenoble - Pulsed Laser Deposited microstructures for integrated optics

In this project, we want to develop new integrated micro-structure on Si substrate made by Pulsed Laser Deposition and liftoff processing. PLD is a high quality growth technique commonly used for many applications in photonics [1,2]. In PLD, an intense pulsed laser beam is focused through an optical window on a target under vacuum. If the target absorbs enough energy, the laser-material interaction leads to the formation of a plasma which can deposit on the substrate facing the target. It has the advantage that the molecules reaching the surface have an energy which can exceed the thermal energy which allows to envision lift-off processing for a fast micro-structuration. Recently, we have shown that Y2O3:Eu3+ waveguides can be made by combining PLD and liftoff processing [4]. Based on such results, we want now to develop rare earth down convertor directly integrated on top of SiN waveguides. For this internship, the candidate will be in charge of the lithography step in the NanoLyon clean room managed by the Institute of Nanoscience in Lyon (INL) and the PLD growth at the Institute Light Matter (ILM). The different growth, design and lithography parameters will be studied in order to developed the wavelength convertors in integrated circuit. The fabricated devices will be studied mainly by secondary electron-microscopies, photoluminescence and absorption measurement. This internship could be continued with a phD work.
[1] Abdellaoui N, et al.. Nanotechnology. 2015.
[2] M. Jelínek et al. Laser Phys. 2009
[4] Gassenq A, et al. Optics Express 2021.

IMP - Master 2 Chimie et Sciences des Matériaux - Nanostructuration of epoxyde networks by H-bonding block copolymers

Thanks to their outstanding properties, thermosetting polymers such as epoxy-based systems find applications in numerous industrial sectors (aeronautics, electronics…). The scope of this category of polymer materials is however hampered by their brittle character when highly crosslinked. To improve damage tolerance of thermosets with limited loss in thermomechanical properties (stiffness, Tg), polymerization-induced phase separation techniques involving rubbery materials have become popular strategies. To favor energy dissipation and restrain crack propagation in the material, the control of the morphology and the design of well-ordered nanostructures have been shown to be of paramount importance. In this context, amphiphilic block copolymers (BCP) made of one block with rubbery characteristics and a second one which remains miscible with the epoxy system in the course of the network formation (to prevent macrophase separation) constitute excellent candidates as rubber-toughening agents in epoxy-based networks. Whereas many BCP systems have been reported in epoxy-based systems¹, toughening strategies involving BCP promoting both i/ generation of phase-segregated rubbery nanodomains and ii/ (in these domains) the reversible formation of supramolecular assemblies (i.e. H-bonding groups) remain unexplored.
In this context, the main objectives of this internship will be i) to synthesize a series of well-defined BCPs with a H-bonding rubbery block and an epoxy-miscible block by RAFT polymerization, ii) to employ these BCPs to generate nanostructured epoxy thermosets with different morphologies and iii) to evaluate how (macro)molecular parameters (block copolymer composition, block copolymer content, nature and number of H-bonding motifs, morphology) impact mechanical properties (especially toughness) of the resulting polymer networks in order to optimize the properties of the thermosets.

¹a) M. A. Hillmyer, P. M. Lipic, D. A. Hajduk, K. Almdal, F. S. Bates J. Am. Chem. Soc. 1997, 119, 2749-2750. b) Rebizant, V.; Venet, A.-S.; Tournilhac, F.; Girard-Reydet, E.; Navarro, C.; Pascault, J.-P.; Leibler, L. Macromolecules 2004, 37, 8017−8027.c) S. Chen, P. Alcouffe, A. Rousseau, J-F. Gérard, F. Lortie, J. Zhu, J. Bernard. Macromolecules 2021, 37, 8017−8027.

Innovation internships 2020-2021

LAMCOS - Master 2 of Mechanics or applied Mathematics - Towards real time topology optimization of architectured materials

Architectured materials are artificial composites possessing specific properties obtained thanks to adequate topology or morphology designs. They are given high attention in many industrial applications (aeronautic, biomedical, building, vehicles, …) thanks to their enhanced performances. Topology optimization gives a practical way to distribute the material within a design domain and thus achieve the optimized performances. Such materials can be easily manufactured using 3D printer. The high power resolution of the recent 3D printers allows to achieve billion voxels design of architectured materials opening so the possibility to develop materials with original microstructures. However, the algorithms usually used for topology optimization reach their limits when scaling with small microstructures sizes. Moreover, running many computations for parametric studies (e.g. specific case optimization) still remains a challenging issue for many engineering applications. To handle this issue, real time original strategies are combined with multiscale topology optimization. At the offline step, a database of optimized architectured materials is built, it is then called at the online step for real time and rapid topology optimization without any need to rerun the topology optimization process.

IMP - Master 2 Matériaux Innovants pour la Santé, le Transport et l'Energie - Bio Based ionic membrane

Single-ion electrolyte membranes are materials having numerous applications for energy (fuel cells, flow battery, metal-ion batteries and (super) capacitor) and environmental technologies (wastewater treatment). The most common membranes are based on perfluorosulfonated or aromatic ionomers (polymers bearing a small fraction of ionic groups), resulting into a solid material able to transport counter-ions through a complex nanostructure. Yet such materials are expensive, are not environmentally friendly due to the chemical and solvents employed for their synthesis, and their mechanical and functional properties can hardly be adjusted which strongly constrain the design of technological devices.We recently developed a new methodology to obtain ionic membranes by processing biobased materials in water. The goal of this internship is to investigate the technological potential of such approach.

LMFA - Master 1 ou Master 2 with a strong component in fluid mechanics - Stenay spreading of surfactant - covered particles on a liquid - liquid interface

The behaviour of particles trapped at a liquid-liquid interface is a complex problem, as it involves different mechanisms of grain repulsion and attraction.This exploratory project aims at studying experimentally the dynamics of spreading of grains « soiled » by various amount of surfactant at an oil-water interface. The intern will focus on measuring the radial velocity field at the surface.