Articles récents

PhD in France…

14 Juillet 2007 , Rédigé par JW Publié dans #Recent research work

I often get applications from students wishing to start a PhD in France. Therefore, I think it’s necessary to clarify the eligibility conditions for a PhD funding grant from the French ministry of research (the standard grant in France, but there exist many other possibilities through specific programs AMN/AMX, DGA, CIFRE, ONERA…).

Below is a translation of the eligibility conditions found on the research ministry website :


The student who wishes to profit from a research grant must make the request of it for the academic year which immediately follows the date on which he obtained a master’s degree. This condition does not apply to the titular candidates of Aggregation. Exemptions are possible if, between the year of obtaining the DEA or the master research and the year of candidature, student has:
- carried out its national service, whatever the duration of this one, or accompanied its spouse who carried out his national service abroad
- prepared, during one year, and presented Aggregation or the CAPES,
- carried out the practical training course of Aggregation or the CAPES,
- been in disease or maternity leave during more than four months consecutive,
- carried out a training course abroad within the one year limit.
- finished their boarding school of speciality for the pharmacy and house physicians, having profited from a year-research to prepare a master’s degree or a DEA.

Actually, I just got a candidate rejected because of this [odd] condition. I'm very disappointed/upset since I thought my country would be more open-minded that this, and that exemptions could still be possible... As far as I understand it, since there are only few grants per lab each year, competition is tough, and any non-scientific argument to reject somebody is highly welcome !

Country of obtaining master's degree: The candidate for a PhD grant must have obtained his diploma of thorough studies or his master research in France or an equivalent diploma in a country signatory of the agreement on the European Space of the higher education (in addition to by the Member States of the European Union, this agreement was signed by Albania, Andorra, Armenia, Azerbaïdjan, Bosnia-Herzegovinia, Croatia, federation of Russia, Georgia, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Macedonia, Moldavia, Norway, Serbia-Montenegro, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, Vatican). 

Age: Less than 25 years at the civil end of the year of the inscription in first year of thesis. Exemptions, granted by the chief of establishment, are possible for the old students of less than 30 years to January 1 of the year of candidature, on presentation of a request express and justified of the person in charge for the doctoral school.

Latest publication : photokinetic rates inside nanoapertures

14 Juillet 2007 , Rédigé par JW Publié dans #Recent research work

So finally, it got accepted in J. Phys. Chem. C and is now available on the journal homepage following this link. In this paper, we resolve the photokinetics alteration of fluorescent Rh6G molecules diffusing in a water-glycerol mixture within a single 150nm aperture milled in an opaque aluminum film.

We describe the physics behind the observed overall 15 fold enhancement of the average fluorescence rate per molecule. The fluorescence rate enhancement is clearly seen from the data displayed on Fig 3A, and was already reported to some extent in earlier works. The novelty in this paper is that we apply a procedure based on FCS and lifetime measurements to resolve the different molecular transition rates and their alteration brought by a nanoaperture. This procedure is very close to the one introduced by Jerker Widengren and coworkers in Ref. [19] and [20]. This procedure is broadly adaptable to a wide range of nanostructures.

Meet me at…

28 Juin 2007 , Rédigé par JW Publié dans #Recent research work

Next conference “Optique Grenoble 2007” (02-05 July)

Plenary talk PL4 by Hervé Rigneault  : “Structures nanophotoniques pour étudier l'organisation sub-longueur d'onde des biomembranes” 

Poster P36 by Davy Gérard : “Exaltation de l’émission de fluorescence dans des nanoouvertures percées dans des films d’or”

Poster P66 by Jérome Wenger : “Quantification de l’altération de la photocinétique moléculaire induite par une nano-ouverture individuelle”

Any future for the CNRS ?

26 Juin 2007 , Rédigé par JW Publié dans #Nanophotonics pick

So it didn’t take long to the newly elected French government to threaten (again) the CNRS. Now, the transfer of CNRS researchers to universities appears intended, giving a large power to universities deans, and totally weaking the CNRS institution. This will definitely not solve the university problem in ! French universities need an ambitious reform, but absorbing new researchers will not improve anything. More likely, it may even decrease the average quality of French research.

Universities need students, and students need a clear view of professional openings at the end of their studies. We will not solve today’s major university problem if we don’t improve the companies’ will to hire qualified university students. Bringing new researchers will only delay things. 

More info at :

Get up the petition :

SPP3 conference

25 Juin 2007 , Rédigé par JW Publié dans #Nanophotonics pick

Now back from the third international conference in surface plasmon photonics in Dijon () last week. A very nice thing is that the abstract book is freely available on the net at and reports at a glance the different hot plasmonic topics. Unfortunately, too many conferences tend to sell these abstract books (which is our work and intellectual property!). So I really encourage anyone interested in this field to have a look on this book.

As a feedback, here are some stats about the number of sessions per topic, and the number of invited speakers per country.