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French-Australian thematic school on Molecular Electronics and Photonics at the University of Perth

Researchers from a Franco-Australian international network MAITAI (IRP CNRS), co-piloted by the CNRS and the Australian National University (ANU), organized a thematic school entitled "Molecular Electronics and Photonics" (MEP2) at the University of Perth (UWA) from January 31 to February 2, 2023. This thematic school, closed with a bilateral scientific day, was attended by around fifteen young doctoral students from UWA and a doctoral student from Rennes, as well as around fifteen experienced researchers, including twelve researchers members of the MAITAI network, as were six out of eight teachers at the school.The scientific day entitled "French-Australian Scientific Day" (FASD) at the end of the school was an opportunity to illustrate to young doctoral students the applications in fundamental research of the courses given. Focused on research carried out within the Franco-Australian consortium MAITAI, these courses have provided young researchers with the conceptual bases to better understand the challenges in electronics and molecular photonics.

Participants of the French-Australian workshop.

A well appreciated international event after two years of pandemic. After two years strongly marked by the COVID-19 pandemic and the closure of the Australian borders, for the more experienced researchers belonging to the MAITAI network, this thematic school has made it possible to (re)define a theoretical basis common to the consortium for ongoing research and, above all, to relaunch collaborations, and even to stimulate new ones in a friendly and relaxed atmosphere, favoring exchanges.

Conviviality and continuous scientific exchanges.

An international event that is part of a certain continuity. It should be noted that this thematic school, previously organized at the ANU in 2019, had already met great success with students from the ANU. On the one hand, the concepts taught focused on the manufacture of functional molecular assemblies with dedicated tasks, which intervene for various applications in very different cutting-edge fields, such as for example :

(i) the elaboration of new photo-sensitizers for theranostics in the field of health; or

(ii) the development of molecular materials for the "all-optical" processing of information in the field of data storage and processing.

On the other hand, this type of teaching of fairly fundamental concepts, but also allowing the practical “know-how” of scientists in the field to be shared, is still quite rare in the Australian university educational system. This is why, both because of the subject covered and its original format, this event arouses the interest of the young researchers who participate in it because it strongly stimulates their imagination while allowing informal exchanges with recognized foreign and Australian experts.

A sensible format between theory and practice.

Return to France of the MEP thematic for 2025? Faced with this positive success, the organizers plan to hold the third part of this thematic school in France in 2025. Indeed, it has now successively taken place in Canberra (ANU) and Perth (UWA), i.e. in the two main Australian universities involved in the MAITAI consortium. Holding this thematic school in Brittany under the aegis of the University of Rennes, which is MAITAI's main French academic partner, would therefore be justified, especially since the two current managers, French and Australian, of this consortium (F. Paul and M. G. Humphrey, respectively) are all also involved in the LUMOMAT university school of research (EUR), a regional educational network supported by the national research agency (ANR) intended to promote teaching and research on themes centered around light and the chemistry of photoactive substances. The third part of this thematic school could therefore be part of this EUR and benefit from its support for its organization.


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