Subatech (Subatomic Physics and Associated Technologies)




SubatechLaboratory of Subatomic Physics and related Technologies

Laboratory Director: Bernd Grambow, lecturer at IMT Atlantique (Nantes campus)

Laboratory website:

Subatech is a joint research laboratory (UMR 6457) affiliated to three supervising administrations: CNRS (French National Centre for Scientific Research) - IN2P3 (French national institute of nuclear and particle physics), IMT Atlantique, University of Nantes. The fields of expertise, in both fundamental and applied research, and the societal issues are:

  1. The High Energy Universe
  2. Nuclear energy and the environment, societal challenges
  3. Nuclear energy and health

Staff numbers in 2016:

  • 186 people, including 130 permanent staff
    • 8 research teams
    • 5 supporting departments
    • Department of Measure and Analysis of Radioactivity and Trace Elements (SMART)


1 - High Energy Universe

  • Plasma – Study of the plasma of quarks and gluons, from a state of matter that existed a few micro-seconds after the Big-Bang. ALICE detector at LHC/CERN.
  • Theory - Study of numerous fields of the physics of nuclei and particles during their interaction, within a wide range of energy.
  • Xénon - Direct research of dark matter, XENON1T experimentation.
  • Neutrino - Oscillation, sterile neutrinos, mass hierarchy.
  • Nuclear Structure and Energy – Simulation of nuclear reactors and data.
  • Astroparticles – Study of ultra-high energy cosmic rays (CODALEMA).

 2 - Nuclear energy and the environment: societal challenges

  • PRISMA - The use of X-rays or particle beams for non-destructive control, in collaboration with the ARRONAX cyclotron and the ECND-PDL (Non-destructive evaluation and control, Pays de la Loire Region) skills hub.
  • RADIOCHEMISTRY - Storage of radioactive waste, radionuclides and the environnement, with the OSUNA observatory, radiolysis
  • SMART department - radionuclides in the environment
  • Nuclear power scenario in the energy transition and non-proliferation. With the SSG (Social Sciences and Management) department of IMT Atlantique Nantes

3 - Nuclear Energy and Health (based on the ARRONAX cyclotron)