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30 | In Images cnrs I international magazine A photo report can be viewed on the online version of the magazine: > www.cnrs.fr/cnrsmagazine buildings,” points out Benoît Sage, who heads the technical department at the CNRS regional office in Grenoble. No detail has been left to chance, from the utility areas (stairways, service rooms, and washrooms), which are structurally separated from the building by means of joints, to the piping, mounted on 3000 springs. Humidity, pressure, and temperature are also carefully controlled to ensure maximum stability. Part of the 2007-2013 State-Region Project Agreement, the €17 million new facility promises to be “a huge qualitative leap forward, although one that might be difficult to assess,” adds Schuhl. With good reason: even before the building was erected, the Institut Néel’s instruments were already among the most sensitive in the world. even sharper images at the sub-nanometer scale, a significant gain that will keep us at the forefront of international research in this field,” says Schuhl. “The objective was to design a building adapted to researchers’ needs, rather than the other way round,” explains Philippe Gandit, the institute’s technical director. Once these needs were identified, very precise specifications and spatial layout were established, ensuring that “experiments did not interfere with one another.” Concrete pillars placed beneath the building and entirely independent of its general structure support 33 concrete blocks on which specific experiments are installed. On the first floor, 27 slabs mounted on springs are used to isolate other testing areas. Exclusively dedicated to experimental work, the 2600 m2 area offers “a vibration level 100 times lower than neighboring traditional Contact information: Institut Néel, Grenoble. Philippe Gandit > philippe.gandit@grenoble.cnrs.fr Alain Schuhl > alain.schuhl@grenoble.cnrs.fr 11 11 This instrument used for crystal growth rests on a concrete block that is independent of the building and anchored to a concrete structure weighing 1500 tons out of the 9000 tons used in total. As a result, the vibration level is 100 times lower than in previous facilities. 12 To host these ultrasensitive experiments, no detail has been overlooked, from the piping mounted on 3000 springs to the stairways separated from the main structure. 13 This chemistry cleanroom has been equipped to treat nanoscale samples under optimal conditions. © photos : c.frésillon/CNRS Photothèque 13 12 Grenoble


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