Research topic #1

Smart polymer ferrotronic materials for environmental monitoring and energy conversion


The University of Bordeaux and four industrial partners - ARKEMA, ISORG, SURYS and VALEO - are joining forces to leverage the exquisite functional properties of electroactive polymers in the field of Printed Ferrotronics Engineering, i.e., the association of electronic and ferroelectric organic materials into dedicated applicative demonstrators. Selected and cofunded by the French National Research Agency (ANR), the SMILE (Smart Polymer Ferrotronic Materials for Environmental Monitoring and Energy Conversion) industrial chair will be dedicated to the design of innovative materials for environmental monitoring and energy conversion. It will rely on a solid existing scientific expertise acquired in the field of materials science and engineering with a focus on polymeric materials for electronics, and on two platforms of the University of Bordeaux: ELORPrintTec (Printing technologies for organic electronics) and VIA-INNO (technology intelligence).


Smart ferrotronic materials for environmental monitoring and energy conversion

The SMILE industrial chair will aim at answering critical tendencies and needs in autonomous sensing, environmental monitoring and smart actuations while providing innovative solutions through printing technologies and the use of organic materials for environmental concerns. Accordingly, the SMILE program will focus on the development of innovative, proprietary technologies that will be implemented in prototypes for selected applications prototypes while conducting fundamental engineering studies for the optimization of the materials performance and device fabrication processes. Adding value through the embedding of smart functions is critically answering the needs of the industrial partners, which aspire to develop innovative products in response to health, mobility, housing and security needs.

As of today, functional electronic and ferroelectric organic materials are mature to challenge specific applicative targets. Besides, a strong convergence is perceivable between the aforementioned material functionalities and the technological and societal expectations in low-power miniaturized electronics, wearable monitoring devices, and substitution of “global warming potential” materials and processes. Consequently, the central scientific and technological objective of the SMILE industrial chair program is the development and industrial engineering of applicative demonstrators based on the formulation, processing via printing methodologies, and optimization of electroactive materials in order to favorably answer the identified needs of the industrial partners in terms of functions, integration and performance.

 The SMILE chair aims at developing novel applications based on electroactive polymers and helping the diffusion of these technologies through the industry, thus contributing to the reinforcement of the competitiveness of French and European companies, which must remain technologically ahead. The industrial consortium gathered in the SMILE project features a balance between “technology push” (ARKEMA and ISORG) and “market pull” (SURYS and VALEO) in order to establish a sound scientific and technological structure in the project.


  • ARKEMA is a worldwide chemical actor and materials designer. It gathers about 20,000 employees in 55 countries and generates an annual turnover of about 8.5 billion euros.

  • ISORG, founded in 2010 as a spin-off of the printed components laboratory (CEA LITEN) (55 employees), pioneers in the development and production of high performance photonic and image sensors using organic printed electronics.

  • SURYS is a major player in the global security solutions market for the authentication of documents. Recognized for its product innovations, SURYS has become a global leader in holographic products for passport and IDs with its world-leading technologies.

  • VALEO Thermal Systems (THS) is a VALEO business group that designs and manufactures systems, modules and components to optimize thermal management of vehicles and passenger comfort in the cabin. The THS group aggregates 10 development centers and 3 research centers

  • ELORPrintTec

    ELORPrintTec is the technology platform for Printed Organic Electronics at Bordeaux University.The platform consists of 850 m² cleanroom facility which contains a large assembly of processing and characterization equipment to enable the conception, understanding and fabrication of new materials as well as their integration into innovative device systems.

  • VIA Inno

    VIA INNO is a UBx platform dedicated to technology intelligence developed. It aims at promoting the development of innovative smart technology methods to understand the dynamics of innovation within industries and the competitive environment of high-tech companies.