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  • A chair on nanostructured materials

    LEEGO chair : chal­LEnges and oppor­tu­ni­ties in connec­ting lenGth and time scales in nanO-struc­tu­red mate­rials: the case of nano-rein­for­ced polymers


    Chair hol­der : Fah­mi BEDOUI ; Pro­fes­sor, Labo­ra­toire Rober­val.

    Part­ners : Mate­rials and Pro­cess Simu­la­tion Cen­ter – Cali­for­nia Ins­ti­tute of Tech­no­lo­gy, USA ;  MONARIS SU-CNRS UMR-8233 Sor­bonne Uni­ver­si­té, IMAT, Ins­ti­tut des Maté­riaux de l’Alliance Sor­bonne Uni­ver­si­té et BMBI UTC-CNRS UMR 7338.

    The LEEGO Chair's objec­tive is to pro­pose hybrid in sili­co and expe­ri­men­tal approaches to help unders­tand nano­struc­tu­red material's mecha­ni­cal, phy­si­cal, che­mi­cal and bio­lo­gi­cal properties.

    The emer­gence of prac­ti­cal syn­the­sis and assem­bly of a diver­si­ty of nano-struc­tu­red sys­tems pro­vides the oppor­tu­ni­ty to deve­lop opti­mal desi­gns for spe­ci­fic chal­len­ging appli­ca­tions inclu­ding reliable and safe engi­nee­ring sys­tems such as wea­rable and self-powe­red elec­tro­nics, ener­gy har­ves­ters, and bio­me­di­cal pain relief sys­tems. Howe­ver, there remain tre­men­dous chal­lenges in pre­dic­ting and mea­su­ring the pro­per­ties exploi­table for the end-user. They depend on a com­plex sequence of ele­men­ta­ry phe­no­me­na that cross the length scales ran­ging from ato­mic scales (Ång­ström) gover­ned by the QM and ato­mis­tic MD, tran­si­tion through scales domi­na­ted by micro­struc­ture, ending with the macro­scale (cm and beyond) of the end-user sys­tem. The conse­quence is that it is not yet pos­sible to opti­mize engi­nee­ring sys­tems. Thus, we must start to inte­grate into the desi­gn mode­ling and opti­mi­za­tion of the salient inter­ac­tions at each scale to include how they impact the lar­ger scales.

    The cur­rent empi­ri­cal­ly-based engi­nee­ring approach toward deve­lo­ping new nano-based sys­tems must be enri­ched by a more appro­priate mode­ling approach cou­pled with syn­the­sis and expe­ri­men­tal characterizations.

    Research and curriculum development programs

    The aim of the LEEGO Chair is to deve­lop cut­ting-edge research acti­vi­ties in the field of nano­struc­tu­red mate­rials while pro­vi­ding our stu­dents with research trai­ning pro­grams of the highest aca­de­mic level. The fol­lo­wing is an over­view of the research pro­gram and trai­ning ses­sions that will be offe­red during the course of the Chair.

    Research program

    The LEEGO Chair will com­bine ups­tream research actions aiming to deve­lop hybrid in-sili­co mode­ling and expe­ri­men­tal cha­rac­te­ri­za­tion approaches that span the scales spe­ci­fic to the mate­rials of interest.

    The focus will be on deve­lo­ping in-sili­co methods that incor­po­rate the most recent advances in ato­mis­tics while being the most ver­sa­tile for use by mate­rials science researchers.

    At the same time, par­ti­cu­lar atten­tion will be paid to deve­lo­ping expe­ri­men­tal approaches for fine­ly cha­rac­te­ri­zing the explo­red mate­rials, in order to pro­vide the most rele­vant micro­struc­tu­ral infor­ma­tion for com­pa­ri­son and/or vali­da­tion with theo­re­ti­cal results.

    To this end, focu­sing on the case of nano-rein­for­ced poly­mers, the LEEGO Chair's work will explore 3 main scien­ti­fic research fields:

    1. Deve­lop in-sili­co metho­do­lo­gies capable of pre­dic­ting nano-rein­for­ced poly­mers pro­per­ties to help desi­gn mul­ti­func­tio­nal materials;
    2. Deve­lop expe­ri­men­tal approaches to vali­date the in-sili­co methodology;
    3. Acce­le­rate tech­no­lo­gy trans­fer for pro­mi­sing cases.

    The Chair is alrea­dy tar­ge­ting two fields of appli­ca­tion through pro­jects alrea­dy laun­ched. These include nano­struc­tu­red mate­rials for ener­gy and bio­me­di­cal applications.

    Curriculum development

    Through the LEEGO Chair, new classes will be deve­lo­ped. Those classes will be open to the Sor­bonne Uni­ver­si­ty Alliance stu­dents and also stu­dents from abroad.

    The classes will be built in a Facul­ty-Led stu­dy abroad for­mat. Resear­chers from the Chair's part­ner labo­ra­to­ries will be invol­ved in set­ting up the pro­po­sed courses.

    To enable this, the courses will be offe­red in a sum­mer school for­mat, taking place over a per­iod of 3 to 4 weeks during the month of July of each year during the course of the chair pro­gram. Each class will offer the most recent fin­ding in the domain of nano­struc­tu­red mate­rials cove­ring aspects of che­mis­try, phy­sics, and mechanics.

    fin­ding in the domain of nano­struc­tu­red mate­rials cove­ring aspects of che­mis­try, phy­sics, and mecha­nics. The classes will be open to stu­dents from the alliance with strong back­ground in one field and willing to ven­ture into a plu­ri-dis­ci­pli­na­ry tea­ching pro­gram.  This for­mat is aimed pri­ma­ri­ly to encou­rage mas­ter stu­dents to engage in research careers. 

    For the time being, three classes will be orga­ni­zed in a sum­mer school for­mat as follows:

    • Nano­struc­tu­red mate­rials: chal­lenges and oppor­tu­ni­ty of connec­ting length and time scales,  sum­mer 2023 at UC Ber­ke­ley Sky­Deck., California
    • Nano­struc­tu­red mate­rials and ener­gy appli­ca­tion: har­ves­ting and sto­rage sum­mer 2024   at Sor­bonne University
    • New fron­tiers in nano­struc­tu­red mate­rials and bio­me­di­cal engi­nee­ring sum­mer 2025 at Seoul University.

    Key­words: Nano­struc­tu­red mate­rials, nano­rein­for­ced poly­mers, in sili­co desi­gn, mul­tis­cale mode­ling, nanotechnology


    This is an ambi­tious pro­ject, main­ly finan­ced by the Sor­bonne Uni­ver­si­ty Alliance, UTC and Cal­Tech,. the Chair includes and pro­vides funds for :

    • 4 labo­ra­to­ries, 3 aca­de­mic part­ners, for a total of more than 8 per­ma­nent invol­ved researchers;
    • 2 fun­ded and 2 sup­por­ted Ph.D. scho­lar­ships along with 1 year 1 postdoc;
    • More than 4 master's sti­pends planned;
    • Invi­ta­tions to forei­gn pro­fes­sors and researchers.


    Contacts de la recherche à l'UTC

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