Welcome to the website of the Clusters & Nanostructures group!

Leader : Emmanuel COTTANCIN, Matthias HILLENKAMP


      The Clusters & Nanostructures group seeks to investigate and understand the fundamental properties of metallic clusters and individual metallic nano-objects. These properties are studied as a function of size, geometry, composition and environment. To this end, the group pursues two principle lines of research.



     The first concerns the study of small, size-selected metallic clusters ranging from single atoms up to 5 nm objects, deposited onto a surface or embedded in a matrix. As part of the Lyon Cluster Research Platform (PLYRA), we are able to fabricate both pure metallic clusters as well as alloys with precise compositions. These are model systems for the investigation of size and composition effects on the optical, catalytical and magnetic properties of such nanostructured materials, which remain largely unexplored (more...).


    The second line of research focuses on the study of individual plasmonic nano-objects (>20 nm). We study both isolated nanoparticles and interacting nanostructures (e.g. nano-antennas) using spatial modulation spectroscopy (SMS), which is an original method for the ultrasensitive characterization of the optical response of these objects. In addition to covering a wide spectral range (300-1600 nm), the SMS setup also enables the correlation of optical responses of individual objects with their morphology through electron microscopy (more...)


       Our experimental studies are strongly tied to theory, on the one hand with regard to the effects of finite size on very small clusters (hybrid modelling with classical and quantum mechanical methods), and on the other hand with regard to both analytical and numerical modelling of the optical response at the nanoscale (more...).


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