Nanotech Research Programs

1- Near Field Heat Transfer at Nanoscale and Casimir force at Institut Néel

Highlights Néel Institute: 
Proposed in the 19th century, the Stefan-Boltzmann formula can be derived from Planck’s quantum theory and correctly describes the total radiative exchange at large distances. In particular, it is well known that, in the “far field” regime, the heat flux exchanged between two flat parallel surfaces is independent of the distance between the two surfaces. But, in the “near field” regime, we measure a strong distance dependence: the heat flux increases dramatically when the distance between the two surfaces becomes smaller than about one micron. 

About our results in Nature Photonics:  Probing near-field thermal radiation
New insights into the behaviour of radiative heat transfer at the nanoscale have now been made, thanks to highly precise measurements made using scanning probe microscopy.

Force feedback atomic force microscopy is a novel AFM technique developed to increase the force resolution in dealing specifically with soft condensed matter. 

At the core of the instrument is a combination of interferometry and feedback actions that keeps the tip of the microscope at any defined distance above the sample: the interaction with the surface is then “felt” by the feedback loop instead of being “registered” by the mechanical reaction of the tip. This instrument can explore the entire range of the interaction potential. Since there is no movement and no contact with the sample, the microscope is ideally suited for measurement of soft matter in liquid environment.

- Departement de Physique de l'Université de Lisbonne Portugal

- Now: Mechanical properties of living materials at nano scales
This is based on the development of a new AFM: the Force Feedback Microscope
It can be seen as a nano-SFA (Surface Force Apparatus). 
This machine gives access to a full characterization of interaction (force, stiffness and dissipation) between a nano tip and a nano object in air, in vacuum or in liquid.

Spectroscopic investigation of local mechanical impedance of living cells
Comments: 8 pages, 8 figures
Journal-ref: PLoS ONE 9(7): e101687 (2014)
Subjects: Biological Physics (
Imaging material properties of biological samples with a Force Feedback Microscope
Journal-ref: Journal of Molecular Recognition 26.12 (2013): 689-693
Subjects: Biological Physics (

3- interference Scanning Optical Microscope (iSOM) at Institut Néel