Laboratoire de Genie Electrique et Ferroelectricite (LGEF), France
INSA de Lyon is a high grade public engineering school preparing highly technically skilled professionals for various fields of industry. LGEF is part of the 21 research facilities hosted by the institute. The laboratory is devoted to the development of electroactive smart materials (ferroelectrics, polymers) and their applications (energy harvesting, vibration damping, composite). LGEF has a research staff of 26 people including an average of 10 PhD students and 4 technical supports. Scientific production is over 25 papers per year and 10 patents since 2000. The lab experience covers the materials aspect (development of electrostrictive materials, and previously development and modelling of piezoceramics and high performance piezoelectric single crystals) as well as applications of active materials (piezoelectric, pyroelectric, electrostrictive, magnetoelectrics…) covering four specific areas: sensors and actuators development, energy harvesting devices, non-linear semi-passive vibration control and material non-linear modelling. LGEF was a key partner of the STREP project “Autonomous Damage Detection and Vibration Control Systems” (ADVICE) in the FP6 framework, and has currently several running international, national and local projects on energy conversion, harvesting, and actuation both funded by government (PHC Orchid, ANR Napoleco, ANR Piezo2power, µSEEMPE regional cluster project…) and by industries (Astrium, Thales, SKF…). During the last decade, the LGEF published several papers related to the actuation ability of polymers both in terms of modelling and experimental characterisations. The laboratory is now focusing on the implementation of electrostrictive actuators in devices. Recently, the LGEF patented an easy and low cost way to improve the electro-mechanical performances of dielectric electrostrictive polymers.
Currently, LGEF is involved in four primary technology areas: High-Performance Electroactive Polymer, Thermal and Mechanical Energy Harvesting, Autonomous System, and Vibration Control. The LGEF is also well known for its expertise in piezoelectric sensing and transducers. Over the last years, LGEF has proven a number of technology concepts that have the potential to narrow the gap between research and practical applications of smart materials. These technologies include piezoelectric motor, autonomous and wireless sensors, piezoelectric transformer, sonar, sensors (accelerometer, pressure, etc), solid state cooling, magnetoelectric effect, artificial muscles, and structures morphing.