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Current research and applied activities

Since March 2020, I have been developing new experimental tools to investigate the composition of fluids and living material.

Scientific programs

With Philippe Marmottant as a principal investigator, we have obtained a major founding from the European Council to study the foundamentals and applications of acoustically excited bubbles (As metamaterials, contrast agents, etc.). This 5 years ERC program called "Bubbleboost" ended in April 2019.

More generally my activities concern the development of micro-acoustofluidics techniques
to manipulate objects in the micron range size (bubbles, droplets, cells and microorganisms,…)
For this purpose, we make an extensive use of soft lithography techniques (on PDMS elastomer) to design artificial microchannels geometries in which we study the fluids of interest.

Acoustic tweezers

S.B.Q. Tran , P. Marmottant P., and P. Thibault, M. Mathieu, P. Marmottant. "Fast acoustic tweezers for the two-dimensional manipulation of individual particles in microfluidic channels"
Appl. Phys. Lett. 101, 114103 (2012)
See video on Youtube

The ultrasonic dance of bubbles

D. Rabaud, P. Thibault, M. Mathieu, P. Marmottant. "Acoustically bound microfluidic crystal"
Phys. Rev. Lett. 106, 13401 (2011)
See video on Youtube

Business oriented activities

From Dec. 2017 until Feb. 2020, I worked as the CEO of Kapflex, a company I co-founded with Alix Duclos and Alexandre Delorme and SATT Linksium to offer innovative level and quality sensor for fluid monitoring.
See video on Youtube
2018/07 : Kapflex to receive iLab Grant from Frédérique Vidal.

2016/9/6 : Kapflex enters Airbus Bizlab acceleration program.


Since 2005, I have been working on the development of capacitive level sensors that can work in cryogenic and other harsh environments.
This led to a first patent : Planar capacitive device for measuring liquid levels : see the international patent
This invention has recently been tested in a rocket tank within the HX-G program by Air liquide DTA. (see description p.4 in the Cryoscope, issue n°49), where it is explained that they are "new level gauges for liquid oxygen and hydrogen, compact and easily integrated into the tanks, while also being longer to collect more information."

Former students

- D. M. Diallo (2016) "Etude de la friction en paroi d’une bulle sous champ acoustique" 1st year licence
- Th. Combriat (2015), : « Hydrodynamique du mélange accéléré par la pulsation collective d’un réseau de microbulles ».
- B. Rebouillat (2015), ENS Cachan : « Mise en évidence de mouvement de rotation sur une plaque vibrée ».
- B. Mondet (2014), L3 Mécanique, Grenoble : « Ondes acoustiques de surface ».
- N. Jaramillo-Ruiz (2013), Ing. Biomédical Medellin, Colombie. Master 2 TIC et Santé Montpellier : « Pinces acoustiques pour la manipulation de cellules ».
- P. Sharma (2012), Master 2 Nanoscience et NanoTech, Dehli Uni., India : « Micromanipulation and streaming using Ultrasound ».

- Th. Combriat (10/2015-9/2018) M2 Paris-Sud Orsay. with Ph. Marmottant : « Comportements collectifs d’un réseau de micro-bulles excitées acoustiquement ».
- I. Bernard (10/2013-9-2016) ENS Cachan. Thèse de normalien co-dirigée avec Ph. Marmottant : « Manipulation de particules micrométriques par écoulements redressés et forces de radiation générés par des ondes de surface ».
- F. Mekki-Berrada (10/2012-9/2015) Ingénieure ESPCI. Thèse région co-dirigée avec Ph. Marmottant (Liphy) : « Effet laser acoustique dans un réseau de bulles en géométrie microfluidique ».

Teaching activities

I am very active in the instruction of future physic teachers and more generally I developed some expertise about education at University level. (One key date has been this meeting at the french Academy of Sciences.)
In this context, I try to go beyond an empirical approach, in order to base my activity of researches in the field of education. These include old references by John Dewey or George Kelly like his comprehensive work "psychology of personal constructs" and more recent works by Stanislas Dehaene and many other authors .
In this context, I gave many courses at the License, Master, and organised curricula at PhD level, with special emphasises on subjects like evaluation, didactics of Physics, etc.

Teaching ressources


Pierre Thibault
Professor of Physics at Grenoble Alpes University

Mobile Phone : +33 (0)6 68 10 49 15
(call me at this number)
Interdisciplinaire de Physique (LiPhy)

CNRS-Université Grenoble alpes
140, Avenue de la Physique
BP 87, 38047 Saint Martin d’Hères Cedex 02, France
Office B332
tel : +33 4 76 51 47 74
Fax : +33 4 76 63 54 95
MoVe Group

Contact me