Material and light sciences

Updated on:

This department brings together experts in chemistry and physics in order to respond to fundamental scientific challenges and drive the innovations of the future in the fields of photonics, energy, the environment, transport, sustainable development, health, life sciences and sciences of the universe.

The Material and light sciences department is multidisciplinary, boasting every asset required to produce new knowledge as well as develop and disseminate innovative applications and technologies.

In addition to its far-reaching experimental work based on the expertise of the department's different units, the research themes are all linked by strong cross-disciplinary work in digital modelling, theory and simulation.


  • Thomas Bertin

    Administrative & Finance Manager, Departmental Steering Support Service (DRV/RIPI)
    351, cours de la Libération - Bât. A33
    CS 10004 33405 TALENCE Cedex

    +33 (0)5 40 00 31 36


The department is structured around five equally-weighted topics.

Molecules and macromolecules

  • Molecular, supramolecular and macromolecular chemistry and engineering
  • Complex adaptive and dynamic molecular and macromolecular systems
  • Methodology and organic synthesis, catalysis, interface chemistry
  • Biomimicry, biocatalysis and green chemistry
  • Analytical chemistry

Condensed matter and soft matter

  • Electronic, magnetic, mechanical and transport properties: superconductors, semiconductors, electronic and ionic conductors
  • Nanostructures, new states of matter, phase transitions
  • Inorganic, hybrid and composite compounds
  • Colloids, polymers, active matter, suspensions, emulsions, liquid crystals, biological objects, surfaces and interfaces
  • Micro and nanofluidics

Advanced materials

  • Exploratory solid state chemistry
  • Design and formulation of materials, processes, nanostructures, additive manufacturing
  • Material characterisation
  • Structure-property-development relationship
  • Life cycle of materials and substitute materials

Nuclei, molecules, radiation and the Universe

  • Nuclear and particle physics
  • Production, characterisation and use of ionising radiation
  • Astrophysics
  • Astrochemistry
  • Large instruments and mega data for sub-atomic physics and exploration of the Universe


  • Light generation and manipulation: laser systems and secondary sources, non-linear optics, plasmonics, optofluidics
  • Light and interactions in extreme regimes: ultra-fast dynamics in matter, attoscience. Plasmas, particle acceleration, fusion. Nanooptics and quantum systems.
  • Spectroscopy-Imaging: multi-dimensional and multi-scale spectroscopy, biophotonics, photochemistry, optics and digital imaging

Several major programmes are associated with this department:​​​​ 

Two Major Research Programmes (GPR) certified in the spring of 2021 are coordinated by this department:

  • LIGHT - Light science and its applications coordinated by Brahim Lounis, University of Bordeaux professor in the Photonics, numerical and Nanosciences Laboratory (LP2N - CNRS , IOGS & University of Bordeaux)
    Other research departments involved: Bordeaux Neurocampus, Engineering and digital sciences, Health sciences and technologies
    Other organisations involved: LP2N, Celia, Loma, CENBG, IINS, IBGC, ISM, ICMCB, CRPP, IMS, I2M, CBMN, IECB, LCPO, BIC & ELORPrintTec
  • PPM - Post-Petroleum Materials coordinated by Daniel Taton, University of Bordeaux professor in the Laboratory of Organic Polymer Chemistry (LCPO - Bordeaux INP, CNRS & University of Bordeaux)
    Other research departments involved: Engineering and digital sciences, Health sciences and technologies, Behaviours, organisations and policy evaluation
    Other organisations involved: CRPP, ICMCB, ISM, LCPO, LCTS, LOF, LOMA, I2M, IMS, CBMN & Larefi

The department is also associated with one other GPR:


  • Store-Ex - Energy storage (French) 


Graduate Research Programme

Key figures

  • 11

    joint research units

  • 820


    incl. 480 researchers & lecturer-researchers

  • 2

    doctoral schools

    & 1 Graduate Research Programme, 450 doctoral & post-doctoral students

Organisation and partners

Departmental units

Ce département est composé de 11 unités de recherche


Conseil de composante

Il est composé de 30 membres, dont 16 enseignants-chercheurs et assimilés, 8 personnels BIATSS/ITA, 4 doctorants et post-doctorants et 2 personnalités extérieures.

Conseil des directeurs

Il est constitué des 11 directeurs d’unités et du directeur et du directeur adjoint du département

Conseil scientifique

Ce conseil est composé de 5 membres, désignés par le directeur après avis du Conseil de département.

Other institutes

Fédération Lasers et plasmas (F2M, FR 2707 – CNRS)
Fédération Matière molle (F2M – FR 4275)


  • CEA
  • Bordeaux INP
  • Solvay
  • Safran


Materials, environment, sustainable development, information and communication technology, photonics, laser, energy, nanoscience, sciences of the universe, physics, chemistry, biophysics, mathematics, organic synthesis, solid state physics, statistical physics, cold atoms, magnetism, optics, quantum physics, nuclear physics, exobiology, planet, composites, polymers, astrophysics