Interdisciplinary Research Unit in Electron Spectroscopy

Created in 1972, the Interdisciplinary Laboratory of Electron Spectroscopy (LISE) is a team of physicists, chemists and engineers who carry out research on surfaces and interfaces of materials. They have acquired a solid international reputation in an ever expanding field of research. Indeed, modern materials usually involve complex assemblies of films or particles of different natures. Hence, this research is directly relevant for industrial applications. Nevertheless, a core mission of the laboratory is to provide a fundamental understanding of the particular properties of these new materials. Exciting new perspectives are opening up in the 21st century thanks to the advent of nanomaterials whose assembly will undoubtedly lead to the materials of the future.


The research unit LISE is developing its research at the NISM research institute. Leading-edge research is divided into two main themes: (1) surface and interface analysis and (2) development and fundamental understanding of modern analytical techniques.


1) Surfaces and interfaces of materials

nanomarsu.jpgThe surface of materials affects many of their properties because the surface is the place where a material interacts with its environment. Similarly, the assembly of materials of different types (polymer-metal, glass-polymer, metal-oxide ...) generates new properties. All major industrial companies active in the fields of glass, metals or semiconductors rely on elaborate surface treatments, making advanced research in this field indispensable. In partnership with the technological platforms SIAM and MORPH-IM, the laboratory LISE uses state of the art analysis techniques to measure the composition and the physico-chemical structure of materials in the nanometer thickness range: electron (XPS) and ion spectroscopy (ToF-SIMS) as well as scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) and photoelectron microscopy (PEEM). Other techniques are also available: optical spectroscopies, measurement of contact angle, etc.


The new materials are also produced in the laboratory by plasma treatment techniques (sputtering, deposition, functionalization) and by thin film deposition techniques (vacuum evaporation, molecular beam epitaxy). Some recent research topics illustrate the variety of problems studied: coatings for the protection of metals, plasma deposition of metallic catalysts, new materials for electronics (graphene, MoTe2 , etc.), metal/polymer assemblies, materials for renewable energies (fuel cells, photovoltaics).


2) Fundamental understanding of photon / electron / ion interactions and matter



Analysis techniques at LISE are based on the interaction of photons, electrons or ions with matter, which allows for probing the extreme surface of solids. These techniques can therefore be used for fundamental studis of such interactions, some of which are still poorly understood. Current research includes photoemission in nanostructures, the study of probabilities of ionization in ToF-SIMS and the in-depth analysis (depth profiling) of hybrid organic/inorganic materials. This research will ultimately optimize the analysis techniques but also lead to better understanding of the interactions between particles or radiation and matter.