Academic staff

Philippe MOREAU


Contact details

Institut des Matériaux Jean Rouxel 2 rue de la Houssinière 44322 Nantes Cedex FRANCE

Personal Website

Taught academic discipline(s)

Chemistry - Inorganic chemistry - Materials - Microscopies

Research topics

Electron Energy Loss Spectroscopy (EELS) Ab initio calculations of the electronic structures (WIEN2k) EELS on lithium batteries

Activities / Resume

Philippe Moreau is a graduate of the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Industries Chimiques (ENSIC in Nancy, France : "Grande Ecole" specialised in Chemical Engeneering). During his PhD, his focus became redirected towards the study of materials. The subject was "Interactions in mercury intercalated TiS2 and TaS2" under the supervision of Prof. G. Ouvrard at the Institut des Materiaux Jean Rouxel in 1994. While at the Cavendish Laboratory (Cambridge, England) in his postdoctoral position under the supervision of Prof. A. Howie, he got involved in Electron Energy Loss Spectroscopy and still is involved in this field to date. He became Maître de Conférences (lecturer) at the University of Nantes in 1998 and teaches inorganic chemistry, electron microscopy and, photon and electron based spectroscopies.  His current interests are in the study of lithium battery materials using EELS and electron microscopy, the development of the understanding of the low energy loss region in EELS spectra and the optimised comparison of experimental spectra with ab initio calculations.

Research Interests Statement

The powerful balance between chemistry and physics becomes increasingly obvious with each passing day, especially as far as the study of materials is concerned. Their macroscopic physical properties are often linked to their more local chemistry, i. e. the "chemical bond", which was very dear to late Prof. Jean Rouxel (founder of the Institut bearing his name). This "chemical bond" results directly from the electronic structure of the material. The determination of which, is thus a major challenge in order to get a better understanding of the material properties. In the context of the ever-growing miniaturisation of devices and the tremendous development of nanomaterials, a localised probe of this electronic structure becomes essential and Electron Energy Loss Spectroscopy in a Transmission Electron Microscope is the ideal tool (see our Microscopy Centre site). With an energy resolution of less than an eV and a probe smaller than 1 nm, EELS has revealed unrivalled possibilities See D. Muller papers . If one wants to go beyond the "finger print" analysis of the EELS spectra obtained, ab initio calculations of the spectra are necessary. These calculations, within the Density Functional Theory (DFT), are also essential tools in the visualisation of the electron density in the materials. Consequently, performing the experimental EELS technique and the theoretical DFT calculations in parallel, constitutes one of the most promising research paths in view of understanding structures and properties of new materials.

Current research interests are:
Study of lithium batteries, using Electron Energy Loss Spectroscopy and with a special interest in the lithium K-edge
Development of new methods of characterisation and visualisation using Low Energy Loss Spectroscopy Identification of phases, containing essentially light elements, using EELS and ab initio calculations (DFT codes, WIEN2k, ...)


Current Research Projects

Lithium battery materials (cathodes : collaboration with the ERT group of D. Guyomard / anodes : collaboration with L. Monconduit, LAMMI)Ultrahard materials (C3N4 precursors in collaboration with G. Goglio, ICMCB)Developpement of low energy loss spectroscopy as a structural tool of analysis (MO2 rutile phases, AMO3 perovskite phases)Lately:study of materias showing colossal electro resistance for non volatile memory (RRAM) (collaboration with E. Janod, L.Cario, B. Corraze)

Selected Publications

P. Moreau, N. Brun, C.A. Walsh, C. Colliex et A. Howie, "Relativistic effects in electron-energy-loss-spectroscopy observations of the Si/SiO2 interface plasmon peak", Physical Review B 56, 6774 (1997)F.-X. Lannuzel, E. Janod, C. Payen, G. Ouvrard, P. Moreau, O. Chauvet, "Electronic structure of a hole doped oxide with a quasi-1D crystal structure Y2-x(Sr,Ca)xBaNiO5", J. of Alloys and Compounds, 317-318, 149-153 (2001)P. Moreau and M.C. Cheynet, "Improved comparison of low energy loss spectra with band structure calculations : the example of BN filaments", Ultramicroscopy, 94, 293-303 (2003)M. Launay, F. Boucher and P. Moreau, "Evidence of a rutile-phase characteristic peak in low-energy loss spectra", Physical Review B 69, 035101 (2004)