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iMUST (institute for MUltiscale Science & Technology)

De l’atome à l’objet : matière, matériaux, mécanique, multiéchelles, multisciences au service de l’innovation technologique

Le but du Labex iMUST est de stimuler une recherche pluridisciplinaire pour analyser et comprendre les problèmes complexes et multi-échelle en sciences des matériaux et des technologies écologiquement viables. Pour cela, iMUST réunit des compétences, des connaissances et des approches complémentaires développées dans les trois domaines de la Physique, de la Chimie et de l’Ingénierie.

Le labex iMUST a été sélectionné lors du premier appel du Programme d’Investissement d’Avenir (PIA) mis en œuvre par le Commissariat Général à l’Investissement (CGI) en 2010. Renouvelé en 2020, le labex rassemble aujourd'hui des chercheurs et enseignants chercheurs dans 78 équipes de 21 unités de recherche sur le site de l’Université de Lyon. Basé sur la plus-value interdisciplinaire permise par la richesse du site lyonnais, il associe des partenaires de l’Université Claude Bernard Lyon1, Université Jean Monnet Saint-Etienne, de trois Ecoles d’Ingénieur (Institut National des Sciences Appliquées de Lyon, École Centrale Lyon, École Supérieure Chimie Physique Électronique de Lyon), de l’Ecole Normale Supérieure de Lyon, du Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, de Solvay, d'Ariane Group et de l’IFP Énergies Nouvelles.


Domaines Scientifiques 

RT1. Energy, processes and resource efficiency

Ultra-high efficiency energy conversion and harvesting, management of resources use, and waste valorization are key challenges that foster many renowned researches in the Lyon area. They include new approaches for light and thermal energy conversion, CO2 valorization, new catalysts and reactors. They also involve development of “energetic materials” to, for instance, store hydrogen or replace highly energetic compound (e.g., for spatial rocket-fuel). Beyond academic excellence, the industrial Lyon environment (“Vallée de la chimie”), Axelera cluster (“Pole de compétitivité”), and academic-industrial shared platforms, as the recently opened Axel’One Campus, will accelerate innovation for eco-efficient processes in this RT.

Key-words: Energy production, conversion, storage and transport. Multiscale thermics, from nano- to macroscopic scale. Alternative activation methods and eco-efficient processes. Catalysis; design, implementation and optimization of reactors, unit operations, and processes. Eco-management (waste, critical and toxic compounds).

RT2. Innovative Materials and Macromolecular Architectures

The quest for new properties and more efficient devices stimulates the development of new tools and processes to design and synthesize innovative materials with tailored structures and/or architectures at multi-scales, from the nano- up to the macro-scale. Combination of chemical, physical and engineering approaches to investigate materials with multiple functions and being more sustainable is here a central point. Their integration in miniaturized devices will allow for instance to manufacture low cost and efficient sensors for environmental or chemical sensing, or for processing and storage of information. The continuum from basic research to innovation, from conception to investigations and eventually integration into devices, is the pillar of this RT.

Key-words: Design, synthesis, fundamental investigation of properties, technological devices, additive manufacturing, bio-inspiration; bottom-up and top-down technologies. Supramolecular chemistry; polymers. Functional, hybrid, and functionalized surfaces/materials; Nano (particles/structuration/materials), metamaterials. Matter under extreme conditions. Durability – lifetime predictions.

RT3. Continuous Media and Fluids

There is a long standing tradition of research and innovation in the fields of fluids, flowing matters, continuous media in Lyon, shared by chemistry (e.g., micro-fluidic, micro reactors, surfaces), physics (e.g., soft matter, complex fluids) and engineering (e.g., friction, turbulence, acoustics). In connection with RT1 and RT2, fundamental understanding of fluids and of interfacial interactions at multi-scales will be used for improving energy conversion, transport phenomena, chemical reactivity. Combining multidisciplinary expertise in experimental techniques and theoretical approaches based on statistical physics / computational modeling (see TM1-2) will be the adopted strategy to develop mesoscopic and macroscopic models also useful to impact industrial applications.

Key-words: Fluid transport, micro- and nano-fluids, advanced fluidic functionality, collective behaviors. Multiphase flow, multiscale fluids, turbulence, nonlinear and complex system. Tribology, friction, adhesion, surface chemistry, structured surface, topology, wetting. Interface modification, corrosion, irradiation, shear. Interfacial heat transfer.

RT4. Diluted Media, Matter and Radiation

Light-matter interaction is one of the trademarks of Lyon with fundamental investigations, including advanced spectroscopy, ultrafast and nonlinear optics as well as applications in photochemistry, flow characterization, photonics, environment, and climate. Two entangled specific topics will be pushed forward: (i) optics for investigating matter at all scales, sustainable chemical reactions and processes, (ii) conception of new materials for optics and integration in devices for eco-technologies.
Key challenges include light control of chemical reactions, remote measurements of atmospheric pollution, optical addressing of photo-active materials and single nano-objects with high spatial and temporal resolutions, and development of hybrid photonic platforms enabling classical or non-classical light emission, optical gating and routing.

Key-words: Photo-chemistry, photoredox catalysis, photo-chemical reactions. Radiation in diluted media, atmospheric applications, ultrafast and non-linear spectroscopy, extreme radiation-matter interaction. Photonics, phononics, nano-optics and plasmonics, polaritons, single photons and particles. Materials for optics, photo-active materials. Integration and devices, sensors, advanced architectures, functionalization and (nano)patterns.

Developments of these four RTs will mostly rely on two Transverse Methods (TMs)

TM1. Therory and computational modeling

Theory and modeling is underlying in all the above research tracks. It includes statistical physics, theoretical chemistry, numerical simulations, multi-scale and multi-domain modeling, all largely developed and renowned in the physics, chemistry and engineering research units of iMUST. Some of these aspects are coordinated by the "Fédération Lyonnaise de Modélisation et Sciences Numériques (FLMSN)", which run the regional computational university center of Lyon. As such, it is member of the Equipex EQUIP@MESO, and partner of iMUST  to which it will provide High Performance Computing (HPC) for all RTs, as well as graduate training.
Apart from advances in the domain itself (theoretical and numerical methods), main challenges will be development of innovative multiscale modeling from the space (nano- up to the macro-scale) and time (atto-femtoseconds to seconds) domains. It will involve computations at atomic level, DFT/molecular dynamic approach, theoretical chemistry, continuum modeling (FEM, phase-field), kinetic descriptors. In particular, combining tools of statistical physics with HPC-based simulations is believed to be the most efficient strategy to model mesoscopic and macroscopic matter.

TM2. Instrumentation and technological tools

Multiscale analysis of matter and design of specific materials requires development of new and innovative tools to process and characterize matter at different stages from the nano- up to the macro-scale. A strong effort will be devoted to support creation of new innovative instrumental tools in the partner laboratories to promote original experimental researches. iMUST also will benefit from the state-of-the-art instrumentation offered by several technological platforms of the partner institutions including the following facilities, some of them offering access to unique instruments:
ILMTech, a technological platform devoted to synthesis and characterization of matter with an expertise in nanostructures and crystals synthesis, nano-manipulation, characterization of optical and transport properties, spectrometry, and investigation of matter under extreme conditions (pressure, temperature). Nanolyon, a technological facility dedicated to the elaboration and characterization at micro- and nano-scale materials and devices. It is equipped with a wide range of generic and specific tools, including deposition and epitaxy, (nano)lithography and etching, as well as heterogeneous integration and back-end processes. CTµ a platform for micro- and nano-characterization of matter with scanning or transmission electronic microscopy and confocal microscopy. CLYM, a research federation managing state-of-the-art electron microscopes with a special emphasis on operando characterization by combining in situ and environmental microscopies. LABRADOR, a metrology service in radiometry. ANAFIRE, a platform focusing on radiobiological and environmental analysis using ionized radiations. Very high fields NMR facility, part of the ISA research-unit member of iMUST, belongs to the national research infrastructure and offers a wide range of NMR apparatus, one with the presently highest available field in the world. Equipex SENS, Surface Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Exalted by Dynamic Nuclear Polarization, is part of the very high field NMR facility.

Other operando and in situ characterization tools among which advanced spectroscopy, microscopy, miniaturized separation, advanced chromatographic methods, mass-spectrometry, etc. available within iMUST partners, are essential assets for the planned researches. They will also be available for graduate training during internships, in line with the education-research vision of iMUST.