C2N CNRS Saclay

A high-tech building for nanoscience and nanotechnology research

To host their Centre for Nanosciences and Nanotechnologies (C2N), the CNRS and Université Paris-Sud wanted to create a building that would meet the very demanding requirements of experiments carried out at this nanometric scale.

Artelia therefore implemented a range of solutions designed to neutralise all vibrations, obtain a minimum level of dust and enable the toxic gases used in certain research to be handled in complete safety, while offering users a very pleasant place to work.


The Centre de nanosciences et nanotechnologies (C2N) is developing research in the fields of materials, nanophotonics, nanoelectronics, nanobio-technologies and microsystems. Carrying out experiments in these different disciplines requires very special facilities. They have to be extremely clean and offer maximum protection against vibrations, because at this scale, the slightest dust and movement can wipe out all your efforts. Artelia has therefore designed a building in which every element has been carefully studied to provide optimum technical solutions.

To reduce all sources of vibration, each experimental plot rests on a 600-tonne concrete pyramid intertwined with the building’s foundations. Our teams installed specially designed floors to ensure maximum rigidity, inserted acoustic joints between the concrete slabs, and mounted the fluid networks on spring-loaded frames. Other similar installations were carried out to achieve the very low dust levels required and secure the gas supply. In the end, every square metre of cleanroom has two floors of superstructure to house the ventilation systems and the fluid, gas and electrical networks that supply the laboratories.

Thanks to its architectural treatment, which favours natural light and openness to the outside world, this building also offers occupants a level of comfort and well-being that is quite rare in this type of research laboratory, which is often very confined.