IRAP > Observations > Laboratory experiments > Plateforme Nanograins > NANOGRAINS PLATFORM (IRAP-OMP)




Diposotif expérimental ESPOIRS

The Nanograins platform includes the laboratory astrophysics devices PIRENEA (Ion Trap for the Research and Study of New Astrochemical Species) and ESPOIRS (Spectroscopic Studies of Optical Properties in Infrared and Submillimetry of Interstellar Grain Analogues). PIRENEA consists of an ion resonance cell cooled to ~30 K in an ultra-high vacuum chamber (~10-11 mbar), equipped with different interfaces that allow to study the physicochemical properties of nanograins and PAH molecules in cosmic environment. The ESPOIRS experiment is a vacuum FTIR infrared spectrometer dedicated to the study of the optical properties of grains at low temperatures with a recent extension towards high temperatures. The platform is used in several scientific studies as part of the European Training Network (ETN) EUROPAH (2016-2020), the ERC Synergy Nanocosmos project (2014-2020) and long-term projects with collaborators at national and international level (GdR EMIE, PN PCMI, collaborations with the University of Ottawa, Cologne).

Two other operations are connected to the platform but their development suffers from limited resources, particularly in terms of technical staff. This is on the one hand the IR emission project, an R&D project. This project received an OMP FEDER Instrumentation funding  (2009-2011) and support from RTRA with the 3PCkeys project (2014-2017). The objective is to measure the IR emission of PAH molecules under UV excitation as in astrophysical environments and using infrared astronomy detectors. We have obtained ESO detectors on loan and recovered the TIMMI instruments from the VLT and C10μ from the CFHT and we have a number of contacts at the ESO, CEA-Saclay and Observatoire de Lyon. This is a very difficult experimental project but with great potential with the upcoming launch of the James Webb Space Telescope. On the other hand, we are trying to set up the scientific database "Cosmic PAH Analogues" which gathers all our scientific results with possible interfaces with the VAMDC portal ( This work will allow us to gain visibility and meet the data management plan constraints that are part of the funding requests to Europe but also to other partners such as the ANR.

Objectives : Inter and circumstellar dust properties including PAH (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons) and laboratory astrophysics in relation to ground and space observations (IR and millimetric: Spitzer, Herschel, Planck, IRAM, ALMA, VLT, JWST, SPICA...)

Research Group : MICMAC

  • Scientific Responsibles : C. Joblin,  K. Demyk
  • TechnicalManagers : A. Bonnamy, L. Noguès

Technical involvement

  • Development of spectroscopic diagnostics:
    •  with PIRENEA, UV-visible dissociation spectroscopy using tunable lasers and an Xe arc lamp.
    •  with HOPE, development of PAH IR spectroscopy and high temperature nanograins.
  • Development of the experimental database.
  • Development of the scientific database "Cosmic PAH analogues".

Objectives and planning

  • Development and integration of a high temperature cell for PAH IR spectroscopy in the FTIR ESPOIRS spectrometer.
  • Implementation of the experimental database internal to users. Generation of the file name catalogue by form.
  • Contribution to the dokuwiki space set up by the IS ( with the scientific results of PIRENEA. First step of public dissemination before setting up a specific database.
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