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Metallurgy and Surfaces

The ‘Metallurgy and Surfaces’ group , tries to understand at the atomic scale the structure and properties of new materials called Complex Metallic Alloys.


These are intermetallics characterized by a large unit cell, containing a few tens up to several thousands of atoms.
represent the ultimate limit case, with a unit cell of infinite dimension (i.e. no unit cell). They are solids with long-range order that lack the translational periodicity of usual crystals and present symmetries that are forbidden according to classical laws of crystallography. Complex metallic alloys can be found in a large number of ternary systems (Al-Cu-Fe, Mg-Zn-Fe, Ag-In-Yb,…) and also in some binary systems (Al-Co, Cd-Yb, Al-Mn,…).


These materials possess remarkable surface properties (wetting, friction, corrosion, catalysis) which can be useful for some technical applications including new functional coating materials and new catalytic materials for the chemical industry.


The group's work brings new fundamental knowledge on the origin of these properties. These activities focus on:


  • Synthesis of new intermetallic compounds by metallurgical methods and growth of single crystals

  • Studies of the structure and properties of these phases by using both surface science techniques (scanning tunneling microscopy, photoemission spectroscopy, low-energy electron diffraction) and ab initio calculations methods.


The "Metallurgy and Surfaces" group is currently based at the Artem campus in Nancy. 

It is composed of 3 researchers, one lecturer and one technician. It currently hosts 3 doctoral students.


Group supervisor: Vincent FOURNEE