Core businessThe Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology (LIST) is a mission-driven Research and Technology Organisation (RTO) that develops advanced technologies and delivers innovative products and services to industry and society. As a major engine of the diversification and growth of Luxembourg’s economy through innovation, LIST supports the deployment of a number of solutions to a wide range of sectors, including energy, IT, telecommunications, environment, agriculture, and advanced manufacturing at national and European level. Thanks to its location in an exceptional collaborative environment, namely the Belval Innovation Campus, LIST accelerates time to market by maximising synergies with different actors, including the University of Luxembourg, the national funding agency and industrial clusters.
MRT (Materials Research and Innovation), one of the three departments of LIST, translates cutting-edge research on smart materials towards industrial innovation. It focuses on two key enabling technologies: nanotechnologies and advanced materials, and investigates research questions related to transducing materials and actuators, photocatalysis and energy harvesters, transparent electronics and smart nanocomposites, point-of-care and drug delivery, modeling and design of structures and multifunctional composites, bio-based polymers and composites, adhesion and compatibilisation of fibres/matrix, process engineering and advanced manufacturing.
Major HealthTech projectsHealthcare R&D at MRT focuses on key enabling technologies to address clinical and industry end-user needs in the biomedical and cosmetic sector through devices, surfaces and formulations that are engineered for superior performance. The projects leverage on techniques and skills to design and engineer properties of materials drawing careful correlations between process, geometry and functional properties of materials and surfaces, to advantage for the desired end-use, viz. diagnostic devices, drug-delivery carriers, cosmetic formulations and implant devices.
Current skills include capabilities to interrogate or influence biomolecular events through imaging of biomolecules and biological cells at ultra-high resolutions, detection of biomolecules with ultrahigh sensitivity, fabrication of microdevices with nanoscale optical/electronic transducers, composite materials for implants, devices to support design.
Current projects include high-throughput microarrays, plasmonic sensors, nanowire sensors, cosmetic formulations, theranostic vectors, high-resolution spectroscopic imaging, biocompatible composite materials, nanostructured implants, AFM-based sub-cellular probing and anti-bacterial interfaces.
Technical / technological capabilitiesThe healthcare R&D at MRT is actively supported by advanced capabilities, both existing and newly acquired in the following directions:
- synthesis or fabrication of nanostructures in solutions or on surfaces, down to molecular dimensions, and fine-tuning oftheir critical dimensions at will. Finetunability enables structure-property investigations, which is key to rationally tailored nanostructured biological devices/formulations with high performance;
- precise (bio)chemical functionalisation of nanostructure surfaces to engineer biomolecular/cell interactions on surface;
- high-throughput fabrication of features or arrays in desired nano-, micro- and millimetre scale to support preparation of in-vitro diagnostic devices and implant interfaces;
- synthesis of theranostic nanoparticles engineered to yield high performance in imaging and therapy;
- preparation of hybrid inorganic/organic formulations incorporating engineered nanostructures with desired optical/electronic properties for cosmeceutical applications; and
- investigating biomolecule and cell interactions with nanostructures through a range of spectroscopic and bioimaging tools.
Up-to-date, industrial and up-scalable process technologies are used:
- metal-organic and rapid thermal chemical vapour deposition processes (with direct-liquid precursors injection and plasmaassistance capabilities);
- atomic layer deposition processes for 2D/3D materials and powders; including the use of a “fluidised-bed”;
- advanced nano-imprint technologies;
- advanced reactive focused-ion-beam for nanodeposition, nanoetching and 3D analysis of large area samples;
- advanced colloidal synthesis of nano-objects;
- advanced wet-chemical processes for controlled materials preparation; and
- novel and proprietary technologies for vapour phase polymer deposition.
- Plasma reactors at atmospheric pressure (DBD plasma; DBD torch; microwave torch) including roll-to-roll wire treatment;
- plasma assisted vacuum deposition technologies: magnetron sputtering, IBAD, HIPIMS, PIII&D, including roll-to-roll wire treatment; and
- plasma diagnostics (optical spectrometry; electrical measurements; Mass spectrometry, etc.). Materials analysis
- Metallography (chemical etching; optical microscopy);
- SPM (AFM, EFM, MFM);
- electron microscopies and spectroscopies: FE-SEM with EDS and WDS X-Ray microanalysis, TEM with EDS and EELS nano-analysis, FE-AES, XPS, UPS;
- FTIR microscopy;
- micro raman and tip-enhanced raman spectroscopy (TERS);
- ToF-SIMS, D-SIMS and NanoSIMS;
- high-resolution mass spectrometry coupled with various ionization sources; and
- XRD with (texture, strain measurement, GID and XRR capabilities, hot stage up to 1100°C).
- Measurement of contact angle and surface energy;
- measurement of adhesion: peeling test;
- surface profilometry;
- tribometry (up to 1,000°C); and
- opto-dielectric laboratory (dielectric, ferroelectric, piezoelectric properties).
Main customers / collaborationsMore than 70 partners and customers including AcXys Technologies, AGC Flatglass, Aixtron, Annealsys, ArcelorMittal, Cameca, Carl Zeiss, Ceratizit, Circuit Foil, CNES, Dupont de Nemours, Elth, ESA, FEI, Goodyear, Guardian, HEF, L’Oréal, Rotarex, Saint-Gobain, ThalesAlenia Space and Viessmann.
Collaborations with universities and research institutes: Institut Jean Lamour (FR), University of Dallas (US), University of Strasbourg (FR), GIGA (BE), University of Louvain-la-Neuve (BE), CRP santé (LU), University of Mons (BE), Materia Nova (BE), University of Angers (FR), University of Twente (NL), University of Technology of Troyes (FR), University of Bordeaux (FR).
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