Imen Hnid, recruited in September 2022 as a teacher at Polytech Lille and researcher at IEMN, received three awards for her thesis defended on March 16, 2021 and entitled « Photo-active molecular surfaces and junctions: organizations, functionalizations and characterizations by scanning tunneling microscopy and atomic force microscopy and conducting tip ».

This doctoral thesis was carried out in the ITODYS laboratory, Université de Paris Cité, under the supervision of Jean-Christophe Lacroix.
His research focuses on the development of molecular-based electronic systems:
« The first electronic computer was manufactured in 1946 and weighed 30 tons. At that time, few people thought that one day portable computers, weighing about 1 kg, would become so popular, as would other small electronic devices. It was nanotechnology that facilitated this development. This was felt by E. Moore in 1965. Since then, the number of transistors has increased from 1000 to 50 billion in 2020, and their sizes have decreased from 10µm to 5nm in 2018 which represents the size of the molecular scale: we reach the limits of nanotechnology used today.

How to go beyond Moore’s prediction? It is thanks to molecular electronics that we will be able to answer this question. This scientific field aims to develop devices that reduce the size and cost of devices by using molecules. My thesis is part of this field: I am developing electronic systems based on molecules. My research has enabled me to make a molecular switch with unprecedented performance (world record in ON/OFF ratios).

This work is distinguished by:

– the Prize for Excellence in « Inorganic, Mineral and Materials Chemistry », from the Société Chimique de France – section Ile-De-France, October 2022 (regional prize).
– the 2022 Labex SEAM thesis prize, December 2022.
– the 2nd prize ex-aequo of thesis 2021  » René Dabard – ENSCR « , March 2023 (national prize).