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Full Professor at University Lyon 1


Alfonso san miguel

Lab : Institut Lumière Matière   logo ilm

Our High Pressure Platform logo ilm

 Tel: +33 (0)4 72 44 80 57

Mail: alfonso.san-miguelZYWuniv-lyon1.fr (replace "ZYW'"  by @)

 Address: iLM, Bât. Lippmann, 10 rue Ada Bayron, Campus de la Doua, 69622 Villeurbanne, France

Some recent highlights:
  • The best high pressure phase diagram of carbon nanotubes. Combining experiments and modelling, and after years of work to understand all the physical mechanisms into play, we have given the evolution of the collapse pressure in carbon nanotubes as a function of the diameter and the number of nanotube walls.

different sticking schemes 2d materialsPublication: "Collapse phase diagram of carbon nanotubes with arbitrary number of walls. Collapse modes and macroscopic analog", Y. Magnin, F. Rondepierre, W. Cui, D. Dunstan and A. San-Miguel, Carbon, 178, 552-562 (2021)  (Arxiv version)...


  • The first high pressure transformation in diatomic molecules. Diatomic molecules are ubiquitous in our environment, as in the air we breathe, but if we increase the pressure by gradually bringing them closer together, until when can we still speak of differentiated molecules? Modelling and measuring with an accuracy close to a thousandth of an Angstrom the change with pressure of the intramolecular distance of the halogens (I2, Br2), we have shown the formation of bonds between molecules which affect the state of the molecule itself at pressures much lower than the metallisation or dissociation pressures of diatomic molecules. This phenomenon could be more general and have implications in areas such as the structure of giant planets, composed essentially of another diatomic molecule at high pressure: hydrogen.

different sticking schemes 2d materialsPublication : "Halogen molecular modifications at high pressure: the case of iodine" Journal Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics, 23 (5), 3321-3326 (2021). This paper was selected as "Hot topic 2021" by the editor and is distributed free of charge.



Scientific career synopsis

The study of condensed matter under extreme conditions of pressure has guided my research activity. First, for about 10 years in the study of simple semiconductors (GaN, ZnTe, ZnSe, HgTe, GaSe, GaS, GaTe) through their phase diagram, equations of state and structural evolution. Then, after a PhD thesis supervision on the structure of liquids under high pressure, I started in 1999 a new research activity on the study of nanomaterials and nanosystems (clathrates, fullerites, nanotubes or graphene) under extreme conditions of pressure and temperature. I founded a research group on this activity and created an adapted experimental platform in collaboration with geologist from the ENS Lyon. To further enhance my research activities, I have contributed to the development of adapted tools for the experimental study of condensed matter under extreme conditions of pressure and temperature, either using large facilities (synchrotrons or neutron reactors) or for laboratory experiments.


1989. B.Sc. University of Barcelona, Spain
1993. Ph.D. University Pierre Marie Curie, Paris, France
1993 - 1997. Scientist position at the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility ( Grenoble, France)
1997-2003. Maître de Conférences, University Lyon I, France
Since 2003. Professor, University Lyon I, France.
2010. Deputy Director of Laboratoire de Physique de la Matière Condensée et Nanostructures, UMR CNRS 5586, University Lyon 1.
2011-2012. Director of Laboratoire de Physique de la Matière Condensée et Nanostructures, UMR CNRS 5586, University Lyon 1.
2013-2014. Deputy director of Institut Lumière Matière, UMR CNRS 5306, University Lyon-1
2015-2020. Director of Fédération de Physique Andrée-Marie Ampère,  FR3127 CNRS/UCBL/ENSL/ECL/INSA Lyon
2020. President of the Rhône section of the French Physical Society
2021. President of the Society of Friends of André-Marie Ampère which runs the Ampère's Museum.