Institut de Chimie Moléculaire et des Matériaux d'Orsay

Presentation of the ICMMO


The beginnings of chemistry Orsay spread at the turn of the years 50-60. At that time, implementation of the linear accelerator had Orsay center of French nuclear physics, and these physicists, who, far from being closed on their specialty, wanted to surround himself with other scientific specialties: not only other specialties of physics, but also those of chemistry, biology and geology. This vision of non-selfish "Physicists prime-occupied" is certainly a very positive factor for development of chemistry in Orsay, especially since later in both the boards and on the ground, supporting the physical chemistry has never wavered.

At first, Orsay is a branch of the Sorbonne and they are holders of the Sorbonne who creates lessons (G. Pannetier, A. Michel, M. Chemla). Under the impetus of a new generation of "independence" vis-à-vis Sorbonnards, the first buildings for research in chemistry are built: the 350 for chemistry and physics first, then 410 for organic chemistry and inorganic. Since the specialties that will influence the Orsay are installed. In chemistry, physical quantities is the study of radiation-matter interactions that grows with its corollary, the spectroscopy and photochemistry (M.. Magat). From the side it is mainly inorganic metal (Mr. Lacombe) and thermodynamics that are in the spotlight (Dode, Guerin), while organic chemistry starts with the organometallic synthesis (Mr. Freon) and the structural chemistry (J. Jullien).

A milestone was reached in the early years 70-80 with the explosion in student numbers. The building 420 is constructed and it chiefly of organic chemists with specialty natural products (FETIZON Mr.), carbocyclic (JM. Conia), Asymmetric Synthesis (H. Kagan), sucrochimie (David S.), bioorganic chemistry (A. Gaudemer ) and inorganic (O. Kahn). Also during this period we have witnessed the explosion of quantum chemistry (L. Salem, O. Eisenstein), today irreplaceable real interface between all disciplines of chemistry.

At the instigation of the late Olivier Kahn that will be created in 1980 the Institut de Chimie Moléculaire d'Orsay, research federation comprising 6 units associated with CNRS, wishing to share a technical platform of international level and work about crosscutting themes porters interface between chemistry and biology, biomimetic synthesis, bio-inorganic chemistry, catalysis and spectroscopy.

Today, chemistry is divided into two major joint research units (UMR) associated with the CNRS. The Laboratory of Chemical Physics (LCP), organized around central ELYSE fast kinetics, which explores various scientific fields at the frontiers of chemistry, physics and biology. Institut de Chimie Moléculaire et des Matériaux d'Orsay (ICMMO) whose themes are chemistry for health, chemistry for energy, chemistry for information and chemistry for environnement.