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Light Elements for Energy

LEEL focuses its research activities on the study of the relationship between the structure and the properties of materials and interfaces in the field of low-carbon energy storage and production. In this context, LEEL develops innovative synthesis (nanomaterials) and characterization (in-situ, operando) processes.

LEEL researchers benefit from a great experience in the analysis of materials by ion beams thanks to a nuclear microprobe installation making it possible to establish a 3D elemental mapping of the samples for the entire periodic table (even the lightest elements), with a micrometric lateral resolution and a depth resolution that can go down to a few tens of nanometers depending on the interaction used. More recently, specific equipment has been developed to study devices in operation (e.g. operando batteries) on the microprobe or on other characterization instruments (NMR, X-ray absorption on synchrotron).

On the synthesis side, beyond the conventional solid or liquid phase production processes, LEEL has equipped itself with Flame Spray Pyrolysis installation to manufacture advanced nanoparticles in the gas phase. The themes currently being developed at LEEL mainly concern post-Lithium batteries (electrode materials and solid or liquid electrolytes, aqueous batteries, studies of aging and interface phenomena), and to a lesser extent fuel cells and catalysts for the hydrogen sector.


  • Leconte Yann
  • Khodja Hicham
  • Gauthier Magali
  • Pongilat Remith
  • Yagoubi Saïd
  • Berger Pascal

Platforms and equipment

  • Set up for the gas phase synthesis of nanoparticles by Flame Spray Pyrolysis
  • Set up for the analysis of materials by ion beams (chemical mapping even for lightest elements by nuclear microprobe)


  • Blondeau, Lucie, Suzy Surblé, Eddy Foy, Hicham Khodja, Stéphanie Belin, et Magali Gauthier. « Are operando measurements of rechargeable batteries always reliable? An example of beam effect with a Mg battery ». Analytical Chemistry, 94, 9683-9689 (2022)
  • Blondeau, Lucie, Eddy Foy, Hicham Khodja, et Magali Gauthier. « Unexpected Behavior of the InSb Alloy in Mg-Ion Batteries: Unlocking the Reversibility of Sb ». The Journal of Physical Chemistry C 123 (2019): 1120 26.

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