Who are we ?

The "Science and Engineering for Advanced Materials and devices" (SEAM) Labex (Lab of Excellence) project is focused on material sciences using a multi-scale approach, from material elaboration, characterization, description, integration in specific devices and applications in various fields of technology. Inorganic nono-materials, nanostructured carbon based materials, diamond single crystal and nanostructured materials are processed allowing applications in the field of photonics, electronics, opto-electronics and aeronautics. It was approved in 2010 by a panel of international experts and is funded by the French Government.

labex seam photo

Researchers and professors coming from three disciplines (physics, chemistry and engineering) are working together. SEAM is part of the Sorbonne Paris Cité PRES institution (SPC). It involves 5 laboratories located on university campuses:

  • University Paris13 : lspm (Laboratoire de Sciences des Procédés et des Matériaux), and one team of LPL (Laboratoire de Physique des Lasers),
  • University Paris-Diderot : ITODYS (Interfaces, Traitements, Organisation et Dynamique des Systèmes), MSC (Matière et Systèmes Complexes), and MPQ (Matériaux et Phénomènes Quantiques)

All of them are either cnrs units (LSPM), or mixed CNRS-universities units. The 5 laboratories are affiliated to 3 different CNRS Institutes: Engineering and System sciences-INSIS (LSPM, MSC), Chemistry-INC (ITODYS) and Physics-INP (MPQ, LPL). The SEAM consortium is composed of 350 persons including 165 professors and researchers, more than 105 PhD and post-docs coming from all over the world. Internationally recognized research teams and advanced facilities allow conducting high level research.

labex seam photo
The seam project

SEAM researchers are elaborating both nanostructured and bulk materials, both carbon-based and inorganic materials, both functional and structural materials; they develop new synthesis routes and shaping methods; they design new quantum photonic devices and electronic systems; they perform modelling at nanoscale and macroscopic scale. Some of them are international leaders in surface functionalization, photonics, opto-electronics, diamond crystal growth for power-electronics.

labex seam photo

Some of the questions the SEAM project is addressing are the following:
How can we elaborate ultra pure/defect-free diamond single crystals for high power detectors or quantum information, or bipolar devices all in diamond for high power electronics? Scientists (LSMP) in the Labex are worldwide recognized in this field. Can we substitute silicon by organic materials down to the single molecule? Chemists from ITODYS and physicists from MPQ are gather their forces. New molecules, electronic transport across molecules and electrode/molecules interfaces are investigated. Carbon nanotubes are good candidates for molecular electronics. However, their electronic properties and doping are not well mastered yet. Several groups in the Labex (MPQ and LSMP) work together in order to produce advances in this field. In future electronic devices, can we use spin instead of charge as an external parameter? Spintronics was initiated by Albert FERT (French 2007 Physics Nobel Prize laureate). Multiferroïcs could be materials for the future. We work to understand the coupling between magnetic and electric properties in these materials (ITODYS, MPQ). Can we go one step further in molecular electronics by combining spin and molecules? This is the objective of molecular spintronics. Interfaces between molecules and magnetic substrates, poorly understood, are studied jointly by chemists (ITODYS) and physicists (MPQ).
How can we realize electrically pumped organic lasers? LPL is involved in OLED research to reduce losses occurring in electrodes that limit the current density in the organic materials below 1A/cm2. LSMP, next to LPL, will develop solutions. How can we master the quantum engineering of materials to design new light sources? Light sources in the wavelength domains of far infra-red (IR) or

TeraHertz (THz) remain to be developed. Such sources which could be electrically controlled in their integrated semi-conducting version are still lacking. These domains are important for security, environment (detection of pollutants or explosives), telecommunications. The Labex has experts in quantum cascade lasers (Carlo Sirtori at MPQ is a co-inventor of QCLs).
How can we increase the high density of magnetic storage together with a reduction of energy consumption inside computers? Nanomagnetism and the overcome of the super paramagnetic limit can lead to the ultimate objective of one bit/one single magnetic particule. The mechanisms of magnetization reversal in small nano-dots remain to be understood and new materials with high magnetic anisotropy energy have to be found. This is adressed by groups at MPQ, ITODYS and lspm.
Structural materials
How can we enhance the mechanical properties of materials by optimizing their composition, microstructure and their architecture? Industrial applications in structural materials (LSPM) concerns transportation, aeronautics, energy and civil engineering.
Smart and functional materials
How can we develop new advanced materials such as foams, metallic glasses, nanostructured or meta multi materials for which the structural function is not the single desired one? This will lead to applications in microelectronics and biomaterials. This is addressed by LSPM in collaboration with MSC and ITODYS. How to bring new properties to materials by functionalization ? Functional and/or nanostructured materials are required in several technologically important areas. We develop new approaches and new applications ranging from magnetic, medical, environmental applications to renewable energy sources and smart materials (MSC, MPS, ITODYS).


The Labex is organized in such a way that the scientific challenges briefly described above and other issues that are not foreseen today will be actively addressed. Some unique features of the Labex are: the existence of a large network of industrial companies that shows a strong interest for the project a multidisciplinary approach combined to a multi-scale approach (from nano to macro). One of the strengths of the SEAM project is indeed due to the close and unique industrial-academic relationship that is being established with a new industrial centre that is being constructed today in the north of Paris, at Le Bourget. Engineers from EADS and Eurocopter will be implanted at Le Bourget in the near future and will work with academic researchers.

Labex image

Structural materials will be first concerned, and rapidly the collaboration will be extended to functional materials. Besides this Centre, Centres of competitivity such as ASTech, Mov'eo or Systematics also located in the Paris region, and drain industrial partners. Some of them are already or will be collaborating with the SEAM researchers (Saint Gobain, Thalès, DGA, Alstom, ...). Another unique feature and strength of the SEAM labex is its multidisciplinarity. Each laboratory develops high quality international research and leadership, but new innovative developments will stem from interdisciplinary. In the collaboration of nanoscience/functional materials researchers with structural materials and process researchers, in a multi-scale approach, projects will be developed for complex applications where materials have to insure both structural integrity under stringent conditions and one or several advanced functionalities. Indeed, in these fields, the research strategies, the investigation tools and equipment, the surface treatments are often similar. Moreover, whatever the material under study, its physical properties, its fabrication or transformation processes, a multi-scale approach is always needed with precise characterization and modeling. SEAM researchers will thus, for any device, system or application they will imagine, be able to "choose" a (nano)material, to choose a process to elaborate the adapted material, to "define" the characterization or modeling tools for the process involved and the (nano)material, and finally to "test" the device or system performance in which the nano material is integrated. How we will manage to undertake these projects is detailed in the scientific part. The scientific project includes 3 axes and several sub-axes. The first axis, "electronic structure-based functional materials" is related to many applications in electronics and photonics. The second one is related to "structural materials" and their mechanical properties. The third one "modelling and characterization" is transversal. The number of researchers from the SEAM laboratories implied in a given field is reported in the table below. Several technological platforms gathering experimental techniques will be used by the whole SEAM labex consortium.

The chosen steering way is project and performance driving. The coordinator, responsible towards universities, cnrs, PRES and partners, define the objectives, set up the budget, follow the Labex activities based on result indicators. Ms. Alix GICQUEL, Professor at University Paris13 is the coordinator. She has been formerly Head of the ANR (National Research Agency) support unit (USAR) at CNRS, Scientific Director of INRETS (National research institute on transports and security), Scientific Deputy Director at the Engineering Sciences Department of CNRS, Permanent Consultant for the French DS2 MSU minister of research, Permanent Consultant at the Engineering Sciences Department of CNRS and Head of LIMHP (Material engineering and high pressure laboratory one of the 2 laboratories that merge to form lspm) at University Paris-Nord She is assisted by a steering committee, and a scientific committee composed of internationally recognized experts, industrials and research group managers providing prospective analysis and scientific advices.

Members of the scientific council

Members of the scientific council

President of SEAM Scientific Council
EPA, Israël
Labex Seam
Thalès France
Labex Seam
LPS France
EADS France
Labex Seam
Université de Stuttgart
Photos of the members of the council
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Members of the steering board

Members of the steering board

Last nameFirst nameTitleInstitutFunction
AMMARSouadProfesseurUniversité Paris DIDEROTDirectrice de l’UFR Chimie et Responsable de l’axe A
AUVRAYLoïcProfesseurUniversité Paris DIDEROTDirecteur laboratoire MSC
BACROIXBrigitteChercheur CNRSCNRS - Université Paris 13Directrice de recherche au CNRS et Responsable de l’axe B
FISCHERAlexisProfesseurUniversité Paris 13Responsable plateforme C(PN)2
GICQUELAlixProfesseurUniversité Paris 13Directrice du Labex SEAM
GORCEIXOlivier Université Paris 13Directeur du LPL
HASSOUNIKhaledProfesseurUniversité Paris 13Directeur laboratoire LSPM
MANGENEYClaireMaîtres de conférencesUniversité Paris DIDEROTResponsable de l'axe A3
MAURELFrançoisProfesseurUniversité Paris DIDEROTDirecteur laboratoire ITODYS
RICOLLEAUChristianProfesseurUniversité Paris DIDEROTResponsable de l’axe C
ROUSSETSylvieChercheur CNRSCNRS - Université Paris DIDEROTDirectrice du C’Nano Ile-de-France
SIRTORICarloProfesseurUniversité Paris DIDEROTDirecteur laboratoire MPQ
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