High temperature materials and solar fuels

Scientific policy. Objectives

The team « High Temperature Materials and Solar Fuels» uses the solar furnaces specificity:

  • on the one hand, to elaborate and to characterize new materials, to simulate extreme conditions of temperature, in controlled chemical environment and pressure, applied to materials to study their physico-chemical behavior at high temperature. The researches allow producing and qualifying materials designed for space applications (thermal shields of reusable space vehicles, of solar probes…) and energy ones (cladding material for next nuclear reactor Generation IV, high temperature solar receivers…);
    Concerning material elaboration, nanomaterials are produced in the form of nanometric powders of pure or doped metallic oxides with improved electrochemical, electronic, magnetic, photo-luminescent properties if compared to the ones obtained by classical routes. The production and the characterization of ceramic or glassy materials is also part of the research activity of the team. Concerning the simulation of extreme conditions, and particularly, the surface properties and surface interactions in highly reactive media (out of equilibrium plasmas, high ionized environment), researches are based on the development of sophisticated experimentations implementing dedicated reactors to simulate the effects of coupled constraints and on original measurement methods (pyro-reflectometry, optical emission spectroscopy), on studies at different scales and on CFD modeling (Ansys-Fluent) and Molecular Dynamics.
  • on the other hand, to develop processes for the production of synthetic fuels like hydrogen from solar thermal energy without greenhouse gas emission. Hydrogen is a sustainable energy carrier that allows the long-term storage and the transportation of solar energy. The different considered production paths concern for example, the methane and natural gas cracking that allows the co-production of hydrogen and carbon blacks, and the thermochemical water-splitting cycles. Recycling and valorization of CO2 for the production of synthetic fuels are also studied.

All these researches are linked to the laboratory knowledge in the field of structural and physico-chemical characterization of materials such as XPS-Auger, XRD, ATD, ATG, SEM, AFM, roughness measurement…

Scientific topics

Team staff

Permanent staff

Marianne BALAT-PICHELIN, DR1 CNRS, Team leader

PhD Students

Laurie ANDRE (since 2014)
Lucile BARKA (since 2015)
Quentin BELLOUARD (since 2014)
Srirat CHUAYBOON (since 2016)
Johann COLAS (since 2016)
Cassandre PIRIOU (since 2015)