Laboratory of Physics of Interfaces and Thin Films

The Laboratory of Physics of Interfaces and Thin Films (LPICM) is the joint research laboratory between CNRS and École polytechnique. The LPICM was established in 1986 and become a recognized mixed research unit (UMR7647) in 1997. Today, the laboratory is associated with the Institute for Engineering and Systems Sciences (INSIS) while it also has a partnership with the Institute of Physics (INP) and the Institute of Chemistry (INC). Since its founding, the LPICM has become a multidisciplinary laboratory where fundamental research on optics, biophotonics, materials science, chemistry, and electronics is carried out. The Applied Optics and Polarimetry (AOP) group from LPICM has been focused on the instrumental developments of Mueller polarimetry and near field Raman spectroscopy (NanoRaman) and their application to various fields (microelectronics, nanomaterials, and biomedicine).

  • Polarimetric instrument development is the core of AOP activity that led to the creation of the variety of complete Mueller polarimeters, operating either in spectral or imaging modes, and adapted for different applications.
  • Mueller polarimetric measurements provide the contrasts between healthy and cancerous tissues, which are different from those seen in ordinary intensity imaging. The extensive experimental and theoretical studies of these contrasts for ex vivo and in vivo samples of biological tissues target the development of new biomedical diagnosis based on alteration of tissue optical properties (e.g. scattering and anisotropy) by cancer.
  • The envisaged in vivo applications of polarimetry for early cancer detection motivated LPICM team to start working on the endoscopic version of Mueller polarimeter.
  • The close collaboration with several French hospitals and joint research project funded by French National Institute of Cancer are dedicated to the statistical evaluation of the specificity and sensitivity of polarimetric technique for the diagnosis of cervical cancer.
  • Development of the theory of Mueller matrices is of paramount importance for the physical understanding and interpretation of the experimental data and it is an essential part of LPICM biophotonics research.
  • Monte Carlo simulations of the polarized light transport in turbid media are being advanced by AOP group of LPICM for the support of experimental activity in biophotonics• The NanoRaman activity has essentially been focused on the development and optimization of TERS (Tip Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy) and related techniques, such as photoluminescence and electroluminescence, with optimal use of the light polarization. TERS is a quickly developing research field and both fundamental and applied studies are being performed in LPICM

Contact person: Tatiana NOVIKOVA, researcher




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