MN2S department
Phononics and microscopies, acoustics, micro and nanotechnologies

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MIcro-NAno-MAterials and Surfaces

Mini-site WEBSITE


The MINAMAS team (MIcro-NAno-MAterials and Surfaces) was created in 2006 and is currently formed by 16 qualified persons (researchers, teacher-researchers, etc.) spread over several geographical sites (Belfort, Besançon, Montbéliard and Sevenans). It includes PhD students, post-doctoral students and trainees from different scientific backgrounds. The strong point of this multidisciplinary team is its expertise in the field of thin films as well as its own experimental techniques, which are supported by modelling and numerical simulation works

objectives and Research Areas

The MINAMAS team aims at developing and providing knowledge on various types of thin films and nanomaterials, for applications in the fields of micro- and nano-systems as well as for the production or energy transduction. This multidisciplinary team has a strong expertise in thin films using original vacuum deposition methods.

The research carried out by the group focuses on the following research areas :

 ›Tribology and tribochemistry across the scales, nano-mechanics of tribological materials. Study of tribological behavior of materials in the face of environmental variations, and understanding the synergy between mechanochemical phenomena occurring at interfaces and the mechanical properties of these same interfaces. A multi-environment experimental base (ultra-high vacuum at atmospheric pressure, in atmospheres with variable and controlled compositions) and across scales (macro to nanometric) is thus developed. The micro/nano characterization of materials (mechanical and physico-chemical) is developed through surface analysis and local probe techniques (AFM), as well as through the development of techniques dedicated to the specificities of a tribological interface.

Space applications, directly linked to multiple environments and tribology, are currently one of our main areas of expertise."

 › Structuring of metallic and semiconductor thin films at the micro- and nanometric scales: Development and study of nanostructured thin films (multilayers, nanocomposites, nano-architectures), with extended and specific ranges of physical properties (typically optical and electrical conduction properties) in order to relate them to the structural characteristics of the films.

›  Mechanosynthesis of intermetallics and characterization of their hydrogen storage properties: Understanding of the mechanisms of hydrogen absorption and restitution by nanocrystalline metals and alloys produced by mechanosynthesis, in comparison with their conventional polycrystalline counterparts.

› Development and characterization of chemical micro-sensors based mainly on the use of thin films exhibiting various architectures: Nanowires, nanoshafts or porous films (SnO2, WO3, ZnO,  La1-x-yAgxSryCoO3 ...). The materials studied enable the development of microsystems for the detection of different molecules in the gas phase. This research area has many applications in the fields of air quality monitoring (indoor/outdoor), biomedical, oil and gas industry, as well as heritage preservation.

› Thin film energy materials. The fields of application are photovoltaics (oxide materials of various structures, in particular perovskite), thermoelectricity (n- or p-type semiconductors such as Mg2Sn, Mg2Si, Mg2Si1-xSnx...), solid oxide fuel cells: Anionic ion conductor (GDC, YSZ ...), proton ion conductor (BCZY, BCY ...) and mixed conductor (materials of K2NiF4 structure). A modeling aspect is also carried out on this topic.

›  Materials for extreme stresses in the form of thin films for corrosion protection (metal stacking based on aluminum or other metals), improvement of surface properties by reducing the coefficient of friction and/or increasing hardness (nitride and/or carbide of transition metals, ternary compound ...), nuclear (high entropy alloy ...).


› Etudes tribologiques en environnements contrôlés (UHV à pression ambiante, et en composition variable), et dans diverses conditions de contact (glissement, roulement, roulement/glissement)

› Analyses multiphysiques des matériaux et surfaces aux petites échelles

›  Expertise in development and structuring processes, in particular conventional PVD techniques (magnetron sputtering and cathodic arc), the more recent GLAD, RGPP, HIPIMS techniques, as well as mechanosynthesis.

›  Generation of controlled laboratory atmospheres for the characterization of chemical micro-sensors.

›  Modelling, forecasting and understanding of the growth processes and multiphysical behaviours of functional materials. We use methods ranging from ab-initio simulations (DFT) to analytical models of the continuous medium type (up to the second deformation gradient in semiconductors subjected to an electric field), through various numerical methods.

› Expertise in material characterization techniques for various applications. Experimental characterization devices are accessible via the SURFACE platform.


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