Centre d'Elaboration de Matériaux et d'Etudes Structurales (CEMES)

Director: Alain Claverie
29 rue Jeanne Marvig
BP 94347
F - 31055 Toulouse Cedex 4
Tél: +33 (0)
Website : http://www.cemes.fr/

The laboratory at a glance

CEMES currently hosts nearly 200 people including 36 CNRS full-time researchers and 31 University lecturers.

Specific features in NEXT

  • Multidisciplinarity: Materials science, nanosciences, physics and chemistry,
  • Expertise in electron holography and in situ experiments,
  • Controlled manipulation of matter "atom per atom",
  • Experimental facilities to manufacture and image nano-objects (TEM electron microscopes, near-field microscopes STM, AFM, spectrometers, clean rooms, etc.),
  • Industrial relationships and technology transfer.


Image recorded by an atomic force microscope (AFM) representing the nanoSQUID (Superconducting Quantum Interference Device) able to measure the magnetic properties of nanomaterials and molecules.

Research areas of the laboratory

Manufacture, understand, model and manipulate matter at the atomic scale.

In CEMES, physicists and chemists invent (nano) materials and molecules of desired properties and integrate them into demonstrating devices.

CEMES mostly aims at:

  • establishing the link between the atomic structure/composition and the physical properties of (nano)materials,
  • designing, synthesizing and studying the first prototypes of molecular nano-machines,
  • inventing and/or developing new instruments and techniques able to study these “objects” at the pertinent scales (space and time).

At CEMES, scientific research is developed within three large groups gathering 20-30 permanent researchers each:

Four platforms support the scientific activities: Nanocharacterization, Nanofabrication, Engineering and Support.



Entirely devoted to nanosciences and nanotechnology, the new PicoLab building will soon welcome in its cleanrooms an advanced equipment package (deposition, lithography, and etching).

These investments supported by the “Contrat de Plan Etat- Région (CPER)” reinforce research in the field of controlled manipulation of matter "atom by atom" and integrating "Nanos" in systems.

Electron microscopy " Ultimate TEM"

I2TEM is a unique electron microscope specially designed for CEMES by Hitachi (being installed).


  • cold emission gun,
  • multiple biprism optic,
  • aberration correctors.


  • electron holography techniques, including imaging of “fields” (electrostatic, magnetic, strain...)
  • “in-situ” experiments: material response to controlled external solicitations (electrical, optical, mechanical, etc…)


09/04/2014 NEXT days 2014

The second edition of NEXT days gathered for two days the NEXT community in Luchon.


Wednesday, June 25, 2014 Seminar Dr. Michito Yoshizawa

Functional Molecular Architectures Based on Multi-Anthracene Assemblies Dr. Michito Yoshizawa...

Wednesday, June 25, 2014 Cristina Mattioli phD defense

Design, synthesis and study of molecules for graphene functionalization The thesis will be...

Thursday, May 15, 2014 Seminar Philippe LAUDET

Dr. Philippe LAUDET - Project Leader at CNES of the SEIS instrument InSight Mission "A French...

Monday, January 06, 2014 Seminar A. Checco

Antonio Checco Condensed Matter Physics and Materials Science Department Brookhaven National...

Wednesday, January 01, 2014 LUCHON : A special venue to welcome your scientific events!

The School of Advanced Sciences of Luchon has just been created and aims to promote the development of sciences and technologies as well as interdisciplinary exchanges between students from various scientific domains. It is also a perfect venue to...

Tuesday, June 18, 2013 picoLab & I2TEM : opening ceremony

CEMES inaugurates new facilities unique in the world: the electron microscope I2TEM and the picoLab building financed amounting to € 18M (CPER 2007-2013). Atoms have been "seen" in the CEMES and molecules and functional nanomaterials have been...

Friday, May 17, 2013 Magnetic domain wall structure in a nano-cylinder

Published on: Scientists of the CEMES, in collaboration with scientists of the LSI Ecole Polytechnique, have succeeded in studying the variation of the 3D structure of a magnetic domain wall in nickel nano-cylinders of diameter between 50 and 90 nm.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013 Information processing with 2D plasmonic states

Published on: By controling the 2D growth of Au colloids and by studying teir non-linear optical properties, E. Dujardin, A. Arbouet, C. Girard et al. Demonstrate that plasmonic modes can be directly probed by optical microscopy. These results,...

Thursday, January 31, 2013 Transmission Electron Microscopy in Micro-nanoelectronics

Researchers from CEMES/CNRS, Leti/CEA and STMicroelectronics have written and edited a book presenting in a simple and practical way the new quantitative techniques based on TEM which have recently been invented or developed to address most of the...

Wednesday, January 09, 2013 Controlling the direction of rotation of a molecular motor

Researchers from Toulouse (CEMES) and Ohio University have developed a molecular motor 2 nm in diameter. This motor can be made to rotate in a clockwise or anticlockwise direction by selec tive inelastic electron tunnelling. A rotative motor is...

Wednesday, December 19, 2012 Spontanious dispersion of nanotubes in viscous polymer

Materials scientists at Toulouse (CEMES) collaborating with ESWCT Airbus (Toulouse) have discovered when studying the nanotube wetting on polymers, that nanotubes placed on a thermoplastic polymer (PEEK) surface diffuse homogeneously in the...

Thursday, November 29, 2012 Voltage-dependent conductance of a single graphene nanoribbon

Graphene nanoribbons could potentially be used to create molecular wires with tailored conductance properties. However, understanding charge transport through a single molecule requires length-dependent conductance measurements and a systematic...

Monday, November 12, 2012 Coulomb meets Néel

Most physical systems tend to order at a low enough temperature, and there are very few exceptions to this rule. For magnetic compounds, such exceptions are called "spin liquids" and over the last two decades, much effort has been made to...

Tuesday, October 30, 2012 Superconductivity at the interface between two insulators

A team of physicists of the Laboratoire de Physique et d’Etude des Matériaux - (CNRS/ESPCI-ParisTech/UPMC), the Laboratoire National des Champs Magnétiques Intenses (CNRS/INSA Toulouse/Univ. Toulouse 3/Univ. Grenoble 1) and the Department of...

Wednesday, October 10, 2012 New beams at CEMES to mill materials at the nanoscale!

The new Dual Beam microscope – Focused Ion Beam (FIB) and Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM)–, bought in the frame of the MIMETIS project (EQUIPEX funding) is now fully operational at CEMES. This ensemble, equipped with numerous tools (gas...

Thursday, October 04, 2012 Sliding phase in randomly stacked 2d superfluids/superconductors

In a recent letter published in Europhys. Lett. 99, 66001 (2012), Nicolas Laflorencie from LPT showed using large scale quantum Monte Carlo simulations on a lattice bosonic model of stacked superfluid/superconducting layers that a unconventional...

Monday, October 01, 2012 Study of quantum oscillations in an organic conductor up to 81 T

The newest double coil system recently put into operation in Toulouse ’only’ generates magnetic fields up to 81.3 T, i.e., smaller than the american world record (100.75 T generated at the NHMFL Los Alamos), but it offers a record field...

Friday, September 14, 2012 Clar's sextets revealed

Researchers of the IBM-Zurich Research laboratory, of the CIQUS-Santiago de Compostela and of the NanoSciences Group –CEMES-CNRS Toulouse, have shown it is possible to map the carbon-carbon bond orders within a single molecule of polyaromatic...

Wednesday, August 22, 2012 The color of silicon-germanium nanowires

Researchers of Toulouse (CEMES), Grenoble (LTM) and Sfax have studied the scattering of light by isolated silicon-germanium nanowires. They showed that the nanowire color can be modified as function of the nanowire diameter, composition and...

Monday, July 23, 2012 Plasma jets collimation by strong magnetic fields

An experiment was carried out using the ELFIE laser facility of LULI at Ecole Polytechnique (France) in order to test collimation of high-power produced plasma jets by strong magnetic fields, a topic of interest for so-called laboratory...

Friday, July 20, 2012 Splitting Matter Waves with Light

Beam splitters exist for matter waves just as for light waves. However, physicists cannot yet manipulate beams of matter as well as beams of light. A novel matter-beam splitter based on crossed lasers provides new control knobs over the matter...

Monday, July 16, 2012 80pm resolution reached by the new CEMES-Hitachi I2TEM microscope

The new Transmission Electron Microscope (TEM) I2TEM financed by the CPER «MET ultime» and the EQUIPEX project «MIMETIS», is now working in CEMES. I2TEM is the result of cooperation between CEMES-CNRS and Hitachi High technology to design and...

Saturday, July 14, 2012 National Order of the Legion of Honour

Virginie Serin, Vice Director of the CEMES is Professor at the University Paul Sabatier in physics.  She exerted a certain number of responsibilities, at the local, national and international level. Her scientific career, thanks to the...

Monday, July 02, 2012 Physics of FeCo/MgO/FeCo magnetic tunnel junctions

Researchers from CEMES-Toulouse, IJL-Nancy and synchrotron SOLEIL have identified the most important electron states contributing to the tunnel current in Fe1-xCox/MgO/Fe1-xCox magnetic tunnel junctions. They explained the decrease of the...

Monday, June 18, 2012 Stone Age Revisited

The preparation by Spark Plasma Sintering of “all-solid-state” monolithic lithium-ion batteries in few minutes allows to obtain cells with good electrochemical performances, especially at high temperature (› 80°C). The “all-solid-state”...

Monday, May 28, 2012 Carbon Meta-Nanotubes: Synthesis, Properties, and Applications

Carbon nanotubes are the most studied nano-objects worldwide. This book is however stating that carbon nanotubes are barely useful to any application when they are pristine, pure, and perfect, instead of doped, filled, coated, or functionalized....

Thursday, May 24, 2012 Mai Dinh junior IUF laureate 2012

The LPT is pleased to announce that Mai Dinh is among the Junior laureates for 2012 of the Institut Universitaire de France. Congratulations to her ! After Éric Suraud (Junior in 1994 ; Senior in 2010), Jean Bellissard (Senior in 1995),...

Wednesday, May 16, 2012 The Wide Bandgap Semiconductor Alliance WISEA

LAAS-CNRS, Toulouse and Fraunhofer IISB in Erlangen initiated the foundation of the Wide Bandgap Semi-conductor Alliance WISEA, including the Chair of Electron Devices of the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, and CEMES-CNRS, Toulouse. The alliance...

Tuesday, April 24, 2012 Giant piezoelectricity with ultrathin films

CEMES researchers in collaboration with physicists in Spain and The Netherlands are able to use the flexoelectricity of thin films to reach a much higher piezoelectricity than in bulk materials. This research work is carried on in the European...

Tuesday, April 10, 2012 The game of go as a complex network

In a recent letter published in Europhysics Letters, Bertrand Georgeot from LPT and Olivier Giraud from LPTMS in Orsay have studied the complex network describing the sequences of moves in the old Asian game of go.

Friday, March 23, 2012 Step-scan Terahertz Time-Domain Magneto-Spectroscopy

We have implemented a novel approach for terahertz time-domain spectroscopy of magneto-optic phenomena in collaboration with the Fraunhofer Institute in Kaiserslautern [1]. Our set up is displayed in fig. 1. It is based on a portable periodic...

Monday, March 19, 2012 CEMES coordinates the new GDR « NACRE »

The objectives of the “Groupement de Recherches” (GDR) NACRE (Nanocristaux dans des diélectriques pour l’électronique et pour l’optique) is to promote exchanges between researchers studying these nanomaterials, which applications belongs...

Wednesday, March 07, 2012 Images & mirages @ nanosciences

This book published by Editions Hermann demonstrates the close collaboration between materials science and social sciences conducted in three laboratories CEMES, LISST-CERS and LPCNO. What does mean "see" the invisible? Artists and researchers...

Friday, February 17, 2012 Prospective Investment: GANEX selected

Develop electronic and photonic components based on Gallium Nitride is the purpose of GANEX, project selected by the ministry of research, for Investment with prospects plan (Labex round 2). CEMES is a partner of GANEX which brings together about...

Tuesday, January 24, 2012 Meeting of the "Scientific Advisory Board" (SAB)

The scientific council of NEXT "Scientific Advisory Board" (SAB) met for the first time January 24, 2012 to select scientific projects in response to the first call for proposal.

Friday, January 13, 2012 New carbon-cone tip-equipped cold-field emission gun

A new cathode for cold-field emission gun using a pyrolytic carbon-cone supported onto a carbon nanotube as the electron emitting tip has been developed in CEMES. The measured brightness of the carbon nanotube-based tip is 5 times better than...

Tuesday, November 01, 2011 Mechanics of Nano-Objects

This book, including several contributions from CEMES scientists, provides an updated view of the rapidly growing field of mechanical properties of nano-objects like micropillars, nanowires, nanoparticles, nano-precipitates, nano-twins, MEMS, NEMS...

Monday, September 05, 2011 The world’s smallest working gear!

Researchers of CEMES and IMRE (Singapore) set a Guinness World Record with a 1.2nm controllable, molecule-sized gear, which is officially the world’s smallest. The gears are 100,000 times smaller than the width of a single strand of hair.

Thursday, September 01, 2011 Gold nanoparticles in liquid crystals

Gold nanoparticles are patterned into various cholesteric textures, onto a huge variety of substrates (glass, soft plastic, water), by controlling the film thickness and the interfaces. This demonstration offers a simple bottom-up technique for...

Tuesday, June 21, 2011 Damping of acoustic vibrations in single nanoparticles

The ultrafast dynamics of individual gold nanorings has been studied by femtosecond spectroscopy. The influence of the nanoparticle/substrate interface on the vibration modes is discussed. For the first time, the impact of the surrounding medium...

Tuesday, May 31, 2011 Charge storage in a single molecule

With the tip of a Scanning Tunneling Microscope we are able to reversibly switch between two stable states a metal organic complex as shown in the scheme. The switch is due to the capture (or loss) of one electron and accompanied by a...

Tuesday, May 10, 2011 IRT AESE

The CEMES-CNRS is a partner of the IRT AESE project « Aéronautique, Espace et Systèmes Embarqués » awarded with a 842M€ grant in the IRT («Institut de Recherche Technologique ») call.

Monday, April 11, 2011 Carbon gets wet

Carbon nanotips for Atomic Force Microscopy have been fabricated in CEMES and dipped in a liquid interface. This original method allows investigating the elementary mechanisms, at nanometer scale, which determines droplets spreading. It validated...

Monday, March 28, 2011 European project AtMol : A molecule able to calculate !

This ambitious project, termed Atomic Scale and Single Molecule Logic Gate Technologies (ATMOL), will establish a new process for making a complete molecular chip. This means that computing power can be increased significantly but take up only a...

Thursday, January 20, 2011 The MIMETIS Project awarded in EQUIPEX call

The CEMES-CNRS rewarded for the MIMETIS project « Interferometric Microscopy and In-situ Transmission Electron Microscopy » with a 3.5M€ grant in the EQUIPEX (« Equipement d’Excellence ») call. The MIMETIS project aim to vise à produire...

Saturday, January 15, 2011 Nanoscale Self-Organization Using Standing Surface Acoustic Waves

Who has never observed the self-organisation of a bunch of sand on a vibrating plate to form geometric figures ? The computational physicists of the “Crystalline Materials under Stress” group in Cemes have transposed this principle at the...

Tuesday, January 04, 2011 Electronic of the future in a single molecule ?

The "DiNaMo" UHV Factory equipment has been specially designed for the elaboration under UHV of the 5 levels of interconnection necessary to exchange information with a single molecule or nanoobject. The DUF project was supported by the following...

Monday, January 03, 2011 Transistor Peapod

Peapods are peculiar nano-objects discovered in 1998 (see next image) upon a joint CEMES/University-of-Pennsylvania work (Smith et al., Nature 1998). They are made of a single-wall carbon nanotube (SWNT) whose the inner cavity is filled with...