Lionel Buchaillot
© Cyril Frésillon / CNRS Photothèque

Lionel BuchaillotDirector of the Institute for Engineering and Systems Sciences (INSIS)

Lionel Buchaillot is a CNRS Research Professor and a specialist in the physics of micro- and nano-systems and thin film materials. He conducts his research at the Institute of Electronics, Microelectronics and Nanotechnology which he directed from 2010 to 2019.

Lionel Buchaillot obtained a doctorate in engineering and physical sciences from the University of Franche-Comté in 1995. He then completed a two-year postdoctoral fellowship at the Laboratory for Integrated Micro-Mechatronics Systems (LIMMS) an International Research Laboratory under the supervisory authority of the CNRS and the University of Tokyo. This is a cutting-edge Franco-Japanese laboratory where he studied thin film shape memory alloys. In 1997, he worked in the research and development department of the SFIM and Aviac Technologie (today Safran) companies where he led a technology transfer project involving piezoelectric progressive wave motors with the Daimler company.

He was recruited by the CNRS in 1998 and obtained his authorisation to supervise research (HDR) in the physical sciences in 2004 before becoming a CNRS Research Professor Researcher in 2006. He was the Director of the CNRS 'Micro Nano Systems' research network from 2006 to 2009 and then a member of the INSIS scientific committee between 2011 and 2014. From 2014 to 2017 he was a scientific advisor for the CEA in the framework of the Eurotalents programme. He is the associate editor of two major journals in micro- and nano-systems, and led the planning for MEMS 2012, his community’s major international conference, which was held in Paris and brought together over 1000 participants.

Early in his career, he worked on modelling the contact mechanics of piezo-electric motors, before training in micro-technologies at the University of Tokyo. After studying thin film shape memory alloys and applying them to microbotics, he devoted over twenty years to micro and nano-resonators - sensors used in industry and research to detect masses or forces on a sub-micrometric scale. While his initial objective was to produce telecommunications filters, he ultimately moved toward designing probes for atomic force microscopy. In the early 2000s, Lionel Buchaillot also took part in a number of research projects studying radiofrequency micro-commutators for integration within antenna systems. His research led him to develop analytic or finite element models and to work experimentally in cleanrooms or by performing nano-indentation tests (a mechanical characterization technique for materials widely used in the field of thin films). A number of his research projects have led to the creation of start-ups via the PhDs trained in his research group, with the most recent, Vmicro, focusing on high-performance AFM probes. Over the last two years he has continued his research into modelling original resonant nano-systems, and has paved the way for 'vegetronics' through his work on the nano-indentation of plant materials via the study of flax retting. 


  • Respond to society’s needs.
  • Develop a systemic approach to the design, production and operation of safer, more interactive, economical, efficient and eco-friendly systems.
  • Conduct strategic actions in partnership with industry, other research and educational institutions, and local and regional authorities.

The INSIS focuses on four sectors:

  • The environment
  • Health engineering
  • Communication technologies and nanotechnologies
  • Energy

Areas of research

  • Materials and structural mechanics, acoustics, bioengineering
  • Fluids, processes, plasmas, transfer, combustion, thermal systems
  • Micro- and nanoelectronics, micro- and nanotechnologies, micro- and nanosystems, photonics, electromagnetism, electrical energy

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