LPA is involved with several fundamental aspects of nano-physics, namely quantum dots, semiconductor microcavities, mesoscopic conductors, superconducting thin films, carbon nanotubes and DNA molecules. Research is focused both on the experimental and theoretical study of these nano-objects, which are attracting great interest due to their promising applications in opto-electronics, quantum information, molecular electronics and biophysics. LPA benefits of a solid network of national and international collaborations with one privileged partner, the Laboratory of Photonics and Nanostructures at Marcoussis.
The experimental tools at LPA are those of ultrafast coherent optics, infrared spectroscopy, dc and radio-frequency electron transport, nano-mechanics at the pico-newton scale. In addition to the experimental investigations, an important theoretical activity is carried on.
LPA is formed by about 60 researchers : CNRS-researchers, professors and assistant professors, engineers and technical staff, PhD students and post-docs. LPA has seven different experimental teams, one theoretical group and an administration service. LPA collaborates actively to the teaching activities at ENS and at the Universities of Paris 6 and 7.
After his PHD in USA, Pierre Aigrain founded the solid state physics laboratory of Ecole Normale Supérieure in 1949. He chaired this laboratory untill 1965. The laboratory then became the Groupe de Physique des Solides and splitted in two parts, one in Jussieu and the orther one rue Lhomond. Pierre Aigrain moved to industry (Thomson) an occupied a professor position at the MIT. Untill the end of his carieer, he played a very important role in french research administration, beeing for example the french research secretary of state and one of the initiators of the european research funding.
In 1990, the ENS part of the Groupe de Physique des Solides became the Laboratoire de Physique de la Matière Condensée de l’ENS
In memory of Pierre Aigrain, we decided to give his name to our laboratory in 2004.