Editor profile and information.


Didier Blavette.
Principal Editor: Materials characterization.

Professeur à l'Institut Universitaire de France.

Directeur du Groupe de Physique des Materiaux - UMR CNRS 6634.

Institut des Materiaux, UFR Sciences et Techniques.
Université de Rouen, Avenue de l'Universite - B.P. 12 76801 Saint Etienne Du Rouvray Cedexfrance.

Interview with Didier Blavette:

Monday, December 8th 2008.

Could you please tell us a bit about your background/formation/specialization?
My initial background is Physics and Electronics. It is after my PhD that I developped some competiencies in instrumentation and Materials Science in particular in the field of Phase Transformations—early stages of precipitation, superalloys, metallic alloys more generally—and of segregation to lattice defects.
What brought you to materials science?
It was Atom probe tomography: a journey from materials science to nanoscience.
What project/research are you currently working on?
At the moment, my researches cover phase transformations in metallic alloys and Materials for microelectronics, in particular Clustering in implanted silicon and reactive diffusion between metallic contact (Ni) and silicon.
  How many people are working with you or in your team?
Being the head of the Groupe de Physique des Matériaux, I overlook about a hundred people, of whom about fifteen are directly working with me in the lab as researchers.
What do you find most challenging in what you're doing?
They're certainly several aspects that could qualify for that, but pushing instrumentation to its ultimate limits is definitely one of the most demanding and challenging task we undertake in our lab. We do this essentially to discover new effects in material science. Not to forget opening atom probe tomography to nanosciences and microélectronics materials. I am also very found of teaching and I like preparing new lectures on very different things including quantum physics, relativity, solid state physics, electronics, thermodynamics, diffusion, phase transformations…
As a materials scientist do you feel your calling is more relevant to Chemistry, Physics or Mechanical behaviour?
I would definitely say Physics, no question about it as far as I am concerned.
When was the last time you were thrilled by something you read or saw regarding material science and what was it?
The 3D reconstruction of the distribution of dopants in a model MOS transistor by atom probe tomography. It was in 2007, and that was a really exciting moment.
Do you think the incentive for future new developments will arise from new ideas, new techniques or new applications?
I don't think ideas, techniques or new applications are to be considered alone as the most important factor. Rather, I think these three points are equally important and are not exclusive! New ideas are required to develop new techniques that permits to discover new effects/phenomena which in turn are fundamental for the understanding of properties and the discovery of new materials and applications! So, I would say they all play a crucial role, despite being at different level, to any new developments.
Didier Blavette, thank you for taking the time to respond and elaborate on those questions.