In 1996, the lab’s activities, initially focused on spintronics studies, were extended to the field of high-temperature superconducting oxides (HTS) with the arrival of J-P. Contour’s group from ESPCI’s Solid State Physics Laboratory. This new theme, “High-Temperature Superconductors and Exploratory Devices”, was part of the development of two new lines of research: the study of physical concepts applicable to exploratory devices in HTS, and the study of the growth of HTS cuprates. In April 1998, the Central Research Laboratory’s Superconducting Devices Laboratory joined the unit to ensure the technological development of research carried out in the superconducting laboratory towards microwave device applications.
In 2005, following the closure of the LURE synchrotron, a team of 3 CNRS staff working on LIGA technology joined the laboratory. This move was justified on the one hand by the links established between this team and several Thales TRT laboratories, and on the other by the team’s interest in remaining close to the Soleil synchrotron currently under construction.
When the lab was renewed in 2006, it was decided to formalize the existence of a “Multifunctional Oxides” topic in order to bring together the work that had gradually developed since 1999 on the basis of synergies between the two historical topics. When the lab was renewed in 2010, it was also decided to formalize the existence of two cross-disciplinary research operations: “Cognitive information processing” and “Hybrid superconductor/ferroic systems”. Since 2020, in view of the growing national and European interest in quantum technologies, the laboratory has launched an initiative to consolidate research activities currently underway or in development around the challenges of these technologies.
In December 2023, the Unité Mixte de Physique CNRS/Thales changed its name to Laboratoire Albert Fert CNRS/Thales.