Almost sixty years back...

The life of a research laboratory results from the dynamism of the action in progress; it feeds on its culture and its history. To understand the true nature of the ICMCB, its organization, its approach to modern science, you have to go back almost sixty years.

In 1961, Paul Hagenmuller was appointed Full Professor of the Chair of Mineral Chemistry of the Faculty of Sciences of Bordeaux. Arriving with around fifteen researchers and technicians, he opened up mineral chemistry to physics and thus created Solid Chemistry which, in a few years, took a prominent place at the national and international level.
Synthesizing new materials, determining their structure, studying their physical properties and, through successive iterations, modulating properties to understand and immediately try to discover new ones while researching their applications, became the daily concerns of researchers.
This is the impetus given by Paul Hagenmuller to this team which, which became the Laboratory of Structural Chemistry and then the Solid Chemistry Laboratory of the CNRS, would open up to the world and to industry while acquiring an internationally recognized reputation in fondamental research.

For this approach to lead to such influence, a leader was needed, but also a team with a common ambition and an organization that allows everyone to flourish by receiving others while giving a lot: a presentation that may be idealized , but actually close to reality. This organization, which has been perpetuated for 60 years, is based on teams, autonomous but not independent, and collective services which play a binding role in the laboratory by combining efficiency and reactivity.

In 1986, when he took over the management of the Laboratory, Jean Etourneau had before him a huge challenge: preserving the heritage and stimulating a new dynamic. His key words: openness and multidisciplinarity, combined with exceptional energy and will, were to lead, by integrating two historic ICMNFreamsNew teams “Molecular Sciences” and “Supercritical Fluids”, to the creation in 1995 of “Institut de Chimie de la Matière Condensée de Bordeaux” Simultaneously, Solid State Chemistry opened up to Materials Science by considering the problems of formattiFrise historique de l'ICMCBng, of interface, of the transition from macro to nano… that is to say the transition from ideal material to real material .

Consequently, the scale of the Institute and the classic collaborations with numerous laboratories no longer made it possible to solve the new fundamental problems and those posed by society: research had to be structured at local, national and international level. It was this mission that Jean Etourneau then Claude Delmas from 2004 to 2012 focused on.


Sixty years after Paul Hagenmuller’s initiative, that progress has been made; but that there are still things to invent and to concretize for all the members of the Institute.
From the fundamental to discover and understand, but also from the fundamental to help solve the problems of society, from the most complex to the most humble; This is our mission.