The laboratory

Created in 1988, the LEM is a joint CNRS-ONERA research unit, bringing together staff from ONERA, CNRS and the University. On the CNRS side, the unit is affiliated to the Institute of Physics (INP), with a secondary affiliation to the Institute of Chemistry (INC). On the ONERA side, the LEM is part of the Materials and Structures Department (DMAS). Finally, The LEM is affiliated to the Paris-Saclay University and active member of two LabEx (LaSIPS and NanoSaclay).

The research conducted is mainly aimed at studying microstructures developing in materials and the modelling and characterisation of small-scale systems. In addition to its external collaborations with academia and industry, LEM interacts strongly with other ONERA Units and Departments with the ambition of developing and optimizing the properties of materials for aeronautics and space. The LEM is currently located on the ONERA site in Châtillon. A move is planned in the medium term to the Plateau de Saclay to join the ONERA site in Palaiseau.


The LEM is directed by Dr. Alphonse Finel (Director) and Dr. Yann Le Bouar (Deputy Director). Life in the laboratory is structured around the Laboratory Council which, given the size of the unit, brings together all the staff. The Laboratory Council is a forum for the exchange of information of all kinds (scientific, administrative, institutional) between the members of the laboratory. The Director shall present the use of financial resources and the evolution of resources during the financial year. The Laboratory Council also gives its opinion on the use of the resources allocated to the unit.


The laboratory has experimental facilities to synthesize and characterize several types of materials studied in our research projects such as transmission electron microscopy, X-ray diffraction, CVD synthesis,... In the field of numerical simulations, we maintain several computational clusters whose specificities are optimized for our modelizations at different scales.