A Transborder Joint Laboratory between Bordeaux and San Sebastien

"QuantumChemPhys" - boosting research and education for Chemistry and Physics on both sides of the borders!

  • 17/11/2017

Left to right: V. Vigneras (Bordeaux INP), P. Miguel Etxenike (DIPC), N. Balluerka Lasa (UPV), M. Tunon de Lara (UBx)

Established between the University of Bordeaux (UBx), Universidad del País Vasco/Euskal Herriko Unibertsitatea (UPV/EHU) and Donostia International Physics Center (DIPC), the Transborder Joint Laboratory, “QuantumChemPhys”, comes after over 25 years of work between the French and Spanish. It is the first laboratory of this type between the entities, representing a strong first step in institutional cross-border research collaboration.

The main focus of this LTC (Laboratoire Transfrontelier Conjoint - Transborder Joint Laboratory) is on the “theoretical aspects of chemistry and physics at the quantum scale”. This means the quantitative description of the motion of electrons and nuclei (and their coupling) in solids, at the gas-solid interface, and in interaction with light.

Managed by coordinators Pascal Larregaray, ISM (UBx) and Ricardo Díez Muiño, (DIPC and CSIC), the LTC involves about 20 researchers in total who are working on the use of theoretical methods and numerical simulations within the framework of quantum/classical/semi-classical mechanics. The complementarity of the expertise of the researchers, originating from both Chemistry and Physics, is a key-point of the project. The coordinated sharing of knowledge, within the framework of a transnational lab, will lead to the development of methods allowing reliable predictions of material properties in applied fields such as atom/molecule surface collisions, plasma-wall interactions, clathrate hydrates, solar cells, non-linear optical switches, etc.

From an educational perspective, the LTC already hosts several co-tutelle PhD students carrying out joint research projects. It welcomes M2 students following the international study program “Physical Chemistry – Chemical Physics” (PCCP, program coordinator Cedric Crespos) during their mobility period. 

Finally, “QuantumChemPhys” will further structure this field of research within the context of Aquitaine-Euskadi Euroregion and more specifically, it will strengthen the strategic alliance between the Bordeaux Initiative of Excellence program “IdEx Bordeaux” and the Basque Country Campus of Excellence program “EUSKAMPUS”.

First take action. Deal with the signing of agreements afterwards.

Prof. P. Echenique — DIPC and PUV/EHU

Now that a formal framework is in place with the agreements signed, the action may indeed continue to reinforce scientific projects, develop new and ambitious lines of research, and facilitate the sharing of resources among researchers and institutions!

A history of collaboration

Prof.  P. Echenique (DIPC and PUV/EHU) along with Prof. A. Arnau (UPV/EHU), and the Bordeaux-based researcher, Dr A. Salin, initiated the transnational scientific collaboration in Donostia in 1992. Today, the joint collaboration between Bordeaux and San Sebastien in the domain of modern theoretical physical chemistry/chemical physics has already led to 30 publications, 3 transnational projects, 1 ANR (National agency of Research) project, the mobility of 11 researchers (at all levels), the organization of 4 international conferences (both in Bordeaux and San Sebastian).

During the third Bordeaux-Euskampus symposium that took place in Bordeaux (June 27th 2017), a formal agreement was signed between UBx, UPV/EHU and DIPC (see photo above), to materialize the commitment of the institutions to the LTC project “QuantumChemPhys”.

> For more information, consult the QuantumChemPhys website