IMEP-LaHC gets an AFM unlike any other
The new Bruker Icon AFM installed at IMEP-LaHC in late October offers conventional topographical measurement capabilities with resolutions of around a nanometer. There’s nothing revolutionary about that. However, the microscope does have some new capabilities that are not available anywhere else in Grenoble. The equipment’s “Data Cube” mode delivers point-by-point electrical and physical measurements across the entire surface of a sample. The sample can also be mapped in terms of current, voltage, and force curves.
Also new is “SMIM”* mode, which measures a sample’s capacity and resistivity with resolutions of 50 nm.
The new AFM will be operational in a few months. And, as part of the Open RA platform, outside researchers will be able to use the microscope.
Interview: Etienne Vogt, General Manager, Utilities Services, Engie
“Our renewable hydrogen costs less than hydrogen produced using fossil fuels.”
You have been supplying hydrogen produced via water electrolysis to the CEA and the hydrogen filling station at GEG since October. What is the story behind the innovation?
It all started with the HyWay hydrogen-powered mobility demonstrator project, which needed a partner to produce renewable hydrogen. Engie was already supplying the CEA with hydrogen at the time, and demand from the cleanrooms was growing. So, we built our first local renewable hydrogen production unit in France. The unit produces hydrogen using water electrolysis and supplies industrial users and vehicles.
Is the innovation in the concept or in the equipment itself?
The innovation is in the concept. All hydrogen is produced on-site for combined use, and hydrogen is only produced using fossil fuels for the backup supply. The equipment we use (alkaline electrolyzers, a 200-bar compression unit, a gas purifier) is proven. Above all, our goal is to provide a continuous supply. We are currently producing around 70,000 cu. m per year.
What have you learned from the experience?
From a technical standpoint, the construction process went very well. However, we did fall a year behind schedule bringing the unit up to code in terms of safety. Safety regulations are still a significant obstacle to the development of hydrogen energy.
At this point, the unit has reached cruising speed and my team has operation under control. We are pleased to be producing hydrogen─and renewable hydrogen at that─locally and at a price that is lower than the hydrogen produced using fossil fuels delivered in tanks.
MEMS-Al and NanoAndes has been held at the same time in Mexico
At the end of November, the MEMS-Al and NanoAndes schools, whose supporters include Grenoble-Alps University (via the IDEX grant), CNRS, Fondation Nanosciences, la Puya Internationale, and the CEA, has been hold at the same time in Monterrey, Mexico. Academic researchers form Grenoble has teached along side their Latin American peers; industrial R&D professionals have also participated. MEMS-Al focuses on micro and nanosystems, covering theory, technology, and applications (IoT and Big Data). NanoAndes addresses nanomaterials and thin-film synthesis, characterization, and applications in healthcare and energy. Each of the two schools enrolls 50 students from Latin America. A common day has given students a chance to discover the many ways in which nanoscience and nanotechnology and digital technology are interdependent.
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CIME Nanotech gets four-port 145 GHz network analyzer
On September 6, Grenoble Institute of Technology’s Phelma engineering school hosted a seminar to inaugurate an Anritsu network analyzer that is unique in France. The four-port analyzer covers a range of frequencies from continuous up to 145 GHz. It is used to characterize circuit components like amplifiers, couplers, dividers, and diplexers for 5G telecommunications, IoT, imaging, and automotive radar applications. A prototype of the analyzer was tested in 2016 at IMEP-LaHC. The final version, which is located at CIME Nanotech, was purchased with funds from the Grenoble-Alps University IDEX grant, the CEA, and contracts with the new RFIC-Lab. The projects have strengthened the ties between Anritsu and these stakeholders in Grenoble. The network analyzer will be available for use by researchers from academia as well as by industrial R&D professionals.
Special 50th issue of Mina-News
The June 2018 issue of Mina-News marks an anniversary of sorts: It is the 50th issue of the MINATEC campus newsletter. Mina-Newswas first published in October 2008. Since then, more than 1,200 articles have been published in French and English!
Over the years, Mina-News has maintained its focus on topics like technological innovations, campus news, new equipment, startups, and partnerships. However, the number of readers has grown substantially. Today, Mina-News has more than 10,000 subscribers—with at least one-third from outside MINATEC.
This special issue includes updates on several topics covered in earlier issues.
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Chrome5 conference room goes casual
Until recently there was nothing unusual about the Chrome5 conference room on the first floor of Maison MINATEC. But all of that changed in May! Chrome5, which is available to professionals from scientific research and industry, is like no other meeting space on the campus.
The 36 sq. m room has a capacity of twelve and offers three different environments. The lounge, near the windows, is furnished with sofas, round poufs, coffee tables, and floor lamps for a relaxed and cozy atmosphere. The trendy bar-height table and colorful stools provide the perfect setting for getting creative. Finally, an unusual twelve-sided table is ideal for more “serious” work.
Chrome5 also has some innovative tech amenities like a large touch display and interactive whiteboard.
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Ground breaks on new OIC building
Construction on the future Open Innovation Center (as it has been temporarily named) began on Nelson Mandela Square in May. The 3,500 sq. m, three-story building is slated for delivery in mid-2019. It will host 70 people working on CEA Tech’s collaborative innovation programs and will also be home to a showroom and prototyping workshop. One of the building’s notable architectural features is a micro-perforated cladding material on the upper floors that will contrast with the unfinished concrete of the ground floor.
In terms of energy performance, the building was designed to consume 20% less energy than France’s current RT 2012 standard—in line with the targets set by the City of Grenoble for the Presqu’Ile urban development project. All of the building’s heating and cooling will be provided by a geothermal system.
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Ground breaks on BHT2
Construction of the new High-tech Building, BHT2, is well underway. The building, located at the southern entrance of the Presqu’Île district on rue Félix-Esclangon, is slated for completion in the spring of 2019.
The five-story high-environmental-quality building will offer modular office, lab, and cleanroom spaces from 50 sq. m to 900 sq. m. dedicated to development activities in the fields of micro and nanotechnology, biotechnology, medical technology, and energy. BHT2 will be fully operational in a year. The building will house innovative companies and startups that have formal agreements with MINATEC research organizations. Like BHT1, the new building will support the development of technological research and will help support the Nano 2022 project.
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