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Home > Teams > Soft Matter: Organization, Dynamics and Interfaces > Instrumentation


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Grenoble large instrument facilities

Several members of the group are involved in Grenoble large scale facilities.

Backscattering spectrometer IN13 at Institut Laue Langevin (Grenoble - France)
Judith PETERS: instrument manager

The thermal neutron backscattering spectrometer IN13 at the Institut Laue Langevin (ILL), operated by a French–Italian Collaborative Research Group (CRG) is an instrument dedicated to the investigation of molecular dynamics by incoherent neutron scattering. IN13 allows the study of a space-time window of about 1 Å and 0.1 ns, providing information on the single particle motions (jump reorientation, rotational and translational diffusion, tunnelling).
The instrument is mainly devoted to life science, but scientific applications can also be found in areas of material science, solid state physics and chemistry.

Typical research topics are:
• Dynamical transition in proteins
• The role of water hydration
• Influence of the solvent
• Proteins under extreme conditions
• Dynamics of membranes and lipids.

French CRG beam line D2AM at ESRF
Isabelle MORFIN: associate scientist

Neutron scattering users community
Marie PLAZANET: President of the French Neutron Society (Société Francaise de Neutronique)

Dedicated developpement instrumentation at LIPhy

Transient Grating Spectroscopy
Marie PLAZANET and Christophe RAMBAUD

Transient Grating spectroscopy is a pump-probe non linear optical spectroscopic technique. A transient index grating is photo-induced on the sample by the interference of two pump impulsions, and probed by diffraction of the probe beam. The time-resolved diffraction intensity reflects the relaxation modes of the sample back to equilibrium. A heterodyne detection enables a great enhancement of the signal together with a separation of real and imaginary parts of the refractive index. In soft matter, far from any resonance, the technique provides in a single data the damped acoustic oscillations taking place at short times, the mass/density dynamics and the thermal diffusion.

Dynamic Surface Forces Apparatus
Elisabeth CHARLAIX and Benjamin CROSS

To investigate properties of soft interface, a new method of detection of buried interface has been developed in collaboration with C. Cottin-Bizonne during the PhD of R. Villey. This method allows to mesure in situ the thickness of thin film by capacitive detection during nanorheological experiments. The resolution of thickness measurement is nanometric.

Force Feedback Microscope - FFM

To probe the viscoelastic response of a material, Atomic Force Microscope (AFM) excites a tip-lever system to its mechanical resonance. This has two consequences: i) the chosen frequency is not related to the system envisaged, but to the operation of the probe, ii) the energy involved in this mechanical oscillation generally drives the tip-lever system beyond the linear regime. All this results in the acquisition of sophisticated data and processing, such as AFM multifrequency analysis. The Force Feedback Microscope that we developed in the laboratory is not limited by these two aspects. Our FFM provides quantitative and simultaneous nanoscale measurements of force, local stiffness and dissipation coefficient on soft material samples in liquids for final applications in polymer physics and biology. Accessible forces range from 10pn to 10nN. It has already been used to probe model systems (capillary bridge, DLVO interaction) and live cells (Luca Costa’s thesis). The FFM can be called nano-SFA.