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HC-IUMi : the creation of the joint CNRS-Hitachi laboratory rewarded

par Guy Molénat - publié le , mis à jour le

On December 8, Arnaud Arbouet and Florent Houdellier from CEMES received the 2020 Outstanding Partnership trophy from Toulouse Tech Transfer, an entity whose vocation is to promote business innovation by exploiting the results of public research.

This 2020 prize rewards years of cooperation between these two CEMES scientists who have developed new applications of transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and the company Hitachi High Technologies (HHT) which saw in the work of these researchers new potential to be incorporated into its future microscopes.

TEM offers excellent spatial resolution which makes it possible to "see" atoms, but has low temporal resolution : in short, TEM makes it possible to study physical phenomena at the atomic scale at a given instant, but not to follow their evolution over time. The instrument developed by Arnaud Arbouet and Florent Houdellier overcomes this limit with a new electron gun allowing the generation of ultra-short pulses of electrons thanks to ingenious coupling of the beam with an ultra-fast laser.

The Japanese group’s interest in this invention is the result of relationships that began in 2009 with CEMES and it was in July 2018 that the bond of trust forged over the years and the scientific and technological complementarity of the two entities materializedthrough the creation within CEMES of an original structure : a joint CNRS-HHT laboratory, the HC-IUMi (Hitachi-CNRS Infrastructure for Ultrafast Microscopy). It is this unique and fruitful partnership experience that has just been rewarded.

The construction of the ultra-fast TEM is progressing and currently at HC-IUMi the electron source of the future microscope is being modified in order to obtain the high accelerating voltage of the electrons (300 kV) which is higher than on the prototype which enabled to validate the concept.

Contact : arnaud.arbouet at cemes.fr and florent.houdellier at cemes.fr