Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht, 2017-10-19

Institut de Chimie et des Matériaux Paris-Est (CNRS - ICMPE, UMR 7182)


CNRS is a leading Public Research Institution in Europe (http://www.cnrs.fr/) hosting the Institut de Chimie et des Matériaux de Paris Est (ICMPE), a research centre involved in chemistry and material science (http://www.icmpe.cnrs.fr/).ICMPE is a Joint Research Unit of CNRS and the Université Paris XII Val de Marne” (UPEC). It gathers more than 100 researchers in the field of material science and it covers a wide range of research areas, from elaborating, designing and optimizing (nano)materials to the study and high resolution characterization of their properties in the frame of industrial applications. Fellows will be part of the research team "Chimie Métallurgique des Terres Rares" at ICMPE. They will follow the PhD program of Université Paris-Est.

The “Rare Earth Metallurgy Chemistry” team is one of the components of the Paris Est Materials and Chemistry Institute (ICMPE UMR7182; http://www.icmpe.cnrs.fr/?lang=en).It hosts 8 CNRS researchers, 7 teaching researchers and 8 technical and engineering staff. In addition to permanent staff the team is supported by eleven PhD students and 3 post-doctorates. Its research activities are centred on studying new compounds with specific properties relating to energy and environmental issues. The research subjects examined have both basic and applied features. Considerable attention is paid to the development of predictive models, modifying physico-chemical properties by substitutions in the metal atom sub-networks and characterising compounds and their hydrides. These studies are supported by the characterisation resources on the Thiais site (DRX, EPMA, ICP, EELS, MET, MEB, VMP, BET, TGA, DSC, ATD) but also use Large Instruments (neutrons, synchrotron).  Finally, particular efforts are made to develop thermodynamic modelling of metal systems (Calphad) and using ab initio electron structure calculations (VASP). Our team has international expertise in metal hydrides and is involved in several national projects (ANR PROGELEC Malhyce and Newmaste, ANR MatEtPro Principia) and international research programmes (IEA-HIA, ITN ECOSTORE).


Key personnel

Dr. Michel Latroche

Michel Latroche was born in France in 1957. He studied at Nantes' University and obtained his PhD at the Institut Jean Rouxel in the field of Solid State Chemistry. After a post-doctoral position at Northwestern University in Chicago (USA) at the Chemistry Department with Prof. J. Ibers, he joined the group of Dr. A. Percheron-Guégan to work in the field of metal hydrides. He is now director of the East Paris Institute of Chemistry and Materials Science.

His main scientific interests are related to metallic hydrides. His research works deal with structural, thermodynamic and electrochemical properties of these materials. His research activities are devoted to fundamental aspects of metallic hydrides in relation with their applications such as negative electrode for Ni-MH and Li-ion batteries or hydrogen gas storage for fuel cells. He has been involved in several national and international research projects and he has published about two hundred publications and filed six patents in this research field.


Dr. Fermin Cuevas

Fermin Cuevas was born in 1967 in Madrid, Spain. He studied at UAM University of Madrid, where he obtained his PhD in Physics in 1996. He moved then to the Max-Planck-Institute of Metals Research, Stuttgart (Germany), for a two-year postdoctoral stay. After one year teaching at UAM, he got a Marie Curie Fellowship from the European Commission to continue further postdoctoral training at CNRS in the Laboratoire de Chimie Métallurgique des Terres Rares (France). In 2002, he got a permanent research position at CNRS and in 2007 his Habilitation as PhD supervisor from Paris XII University.

His main research interest deals with hydrogen storage in solids and electrode materials for Li-ion batteries. He has published about 100 articles in international peer-review journals. His work has been initially focused on the synthesis, crystal structure and microstructure of intermetallic compounds, and thermodynamic, crystallographic and kinetic properties of their hydrides. Later, his research area has been enlarged to novel light materials (complex hydrides and metal-carbon composites) for hydrogen storage, and to the synthesis of nanoscale hydrides and Si-based composites for anodes of Li-ion batteries.


Experimental facilities

Synthesis: high temperature melting, reactive ball milling under hydrogen, spark plasma sintering. Characterization: lab PXD; Sievert’s PcT; Analytical TEM/STEM; EPMA; TDS; BET; TGA; DSC under H2; in situ electrochemistry/PND@ILL;XRD@SOLEIL; VMP3 research-grade multi-channel potentiostat/galvanostat with AC impedancemetry; Modelling: DFT, Calphad


Selected publications

  • W. Zaïdi, M. Latroche, et al., “Carboxymethylcellulose and carboxymethylcellulose-formate as binders in MgH2-carbon composites negative electrode for lithium-ion batteries“, J. Power Sources, 196, 5, (2011) 2854-2857.

  •  J.-C. Crivello, R. Černý, M. Latroche et al., “A density functional theory investigation of Li4NH and Li1.5NH1.5 as intermediary compounds during hydrogenation of Li3N“. Phys. Rev. B, 81 (2010) 104113-11.

  •  J. X. Zhang, R. Cerný, B. Villeroy, C. Godart, D. Chandra and M. Latroche, Li3-xMxN (M = Co, Ni) synthesized by Spark Plasma Sintering for hydrogen storage. J. Alloys Compd., 509S (2011) 732.