Grenoble Innovation for Advanced New Technologies

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    GIANT facilities for fundamental research


    GIANT facilities for fundamental advances

    GIANT offers a remarkable number of high-performance tools and world-class facilities

    • to explore matter under extreme conditions,
    • to carry out magnetic measurements
    • to characterize materials at a nanoscopic scale.

    It is the host of two remarkable “microscopes”, namely ILL and ESRF. ILL, the neutron source with the world’s highest performance, develops and operates high-power instruments for the study of matter. ESRF, the first third-generation synchrotron, is a highly efficient X-ray source, capable of producing very stable, focused and polarized beams.

    The LNCMI, a CNRS laboratory recognized worldwide for its work on intense magnetic fields, is another example of GIANT’s large-scale experimental facilities.

    Extremes in organizational scales involve the subatomic and nanometric domains, in which unknown organizational phenomena may appear, as well as new dimensions of the Universe. For example, very low temperatures play a fundamental role in the thermodynamics of processes, and in gathering information all the way back to the Big Bang. (See more information on the Grenoble cryogenics pole).

    Very high pressure is required to improve our knowledge of our planet and the other planets in the solar system, as well as for in-depth studies on the formation of new materials. Intense magnetic fields create the conditions required to explore new properties for electronic transport.

    Observation requires probing methods suited to the atomic scale and nano-objects, notably synchrotron X-rays and neutrons, near-field electronic microscopes capable of viewing individual atoms, as well as appropriate handling techniques. The various states of matter are explored including solids, liquids and solutions, gases, nano-particles or assemblies, nano-droplets for biology or viscous flow of molten glasses.

    The coordinated use of GIANT’s large-scale research facilities (EMBL, ESRF, ILL, LNCMI) opens a virtually unlimited field of study in advanced materials and nanosciences to scientists at the cutting edge of fundamental research.


    The 35-tesla magnet at LNCMI set a world record in 2009 for a constant field resistive magnet. Copyright CNRS / D. Morel