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Project UPCOLOR of the Micro/Nano Structuring Group

UPCOLOR is a Young Researcher Project financed by the National Research Agency (ANR JCJC) from Jan. 2011 to Dec. 2013.

High resolution updatable multicoloured inscription The work we propose to achieve aims at developing:

• a know-how for the fast inscription of permanent or updatable multicolour micro-patterns by an “all-optics” way and by an “electrical” way. The “all-optics” approach is based on the use of lasers emitting at different wavelengths (UV and visible) and enables the treatment of large surfaces with a resolution of the order of few micrometers. The electrical writing is based on the use of an Atomic Force Microscope (AFM) and allows the achievement of coloured patterns with a sub-micrometric resolution. This technique can be, eventually, coupled with the optical approach. This know-how is based on the use of titanium dioxide matrices, in which we will reduce and oxidize metallic nanoparticles, successively.

• a knowledge, on the light-matter interactions that lead to the formation, deformation and destruction of the metallic nanoparticles, on the colour of sets of nanoparticles (heterogeneous and diluted NP; homogeneous NP with particular shapes; NP in strong interaction), and on the plasmonic coupling between close metallic nanoparticules.

The developed know-how will provide a technique for direct inscription of updatable colour patterns requiring neither chemical nor thermal post-treatment. It is based on the control of the growth conditions of metal nanoparticles in solid matrices of porous titanium dioxide and benefits from the photochromic behaviour of these compounds. This know-how, based on the synthesis of sol-gel thin films, the control of the photo and electro-inscription processes and an appropriate modelling, presents the following innovative features:
- inscription of multicolour patterns on the same sample
- Sub-micrometer spatial resolution
- reversible or permanent patterns (optional).
- Fast inscription (of the order of few seconds).

The writable or re-writable, high-resolution and coloured materials that will be developed, well complement the available solutions for photo-inscription. They should find applications in areas such as image reproduction, data storage or product-marking for anticounterfeiting and traceability.

One strength of this project lies on the multidisciplinary approach. The project involves :
- chemists for the sol-gel elaboration of mesoporous films and their structural charcaterization at atomic and nanometric scales;
- physicists and opticists for the development of inscription processes and for the optical and structural characterization of nanoparticles grown in the matrices;
- theoreticians in electromagnetic optics for the modelling of the optical properties of the nanomaterials.

Équipe 1

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