PAC-G: Platform for Advanced Characterisation Grenoble


PAC-G provides a range of services, from consultancy work to executing sample characterisation experiments and analysing data. We provide access to large-scale facilities, such as synchrotron and neutron sources, and offer a cost-effective and rapid service tailored to the micro- and nano-electronics industry. Through us, industry can access cutting-edge characterisation tools without going through selection processes. We also offer access to some of the world’s most knowledgeable experts in the field of material characterisation.

Our services have applications in R&D, the various stages of product development, failure analysis and process optimisation. Some of the main areas that we specialise in are shown below. Please visit our dedicated applications and techniques page for more information.

Evaluation & Plan

Definition / development of sample environments and testing methodologies

Sample Preparation & Characterisation

Scientific support and technical assistance throughout the test

Data Analysis and Reporting

Support in data analysis and interpretation of the results

Customer Solutions

Confidentiality levels adapted to clients needs, competitive pricing and delays

Customer Challenge

Consulting on the best technique to use (no prior knowledge of advanced techniques required)

Stress and Strain Measurement

Revealing stress and strain evolution during manufacture and use.

Crystal quality determination

Applications in qualification, wafer characterisation and new process development.

Interface characterisation

Probing buried interfaces to evaluate manufacturing processes, analyse failure and delamination.

Process Monitoring

In-situ process characterisation and optimisation of processing conditions.

High resolution Imaging

Imaging electronic components in 2D/3D down to nanometre resolutions for failure analysis.

Irradiation Studies

Investigating reliability and SEE sensitivity of electronic components and systems.

What is PAC-G

PAC-G is a dedicated gateway giving the micro- and nano-electronics industry quick and easy access to some of the world’s most advanced characterisation facilities. We are unique, offering a single, unified access point to large-scale facilities such as synchrotron- and neutron-based sources. This gives us an extremely broad portfolio of individual characterisation techniques, complementary in nature, that we can offer our clients. PAC-G is part of the Technological Research Institute, Nanoelec (Programme d’Investissements d’Avenir, IRT Nanoelec under grant ANR-10-AIRT-05). Please visit the Nanoelec website for more information.

Composées de détecteurs nouvelle génération, ces caméras ultra sensibles permettent d’effectuer des observations scientifiques très performantes.
Luca CAPASSO, Technician on BM05 works on the diffractometer
France, Grenoble, ESRF,

Who is PAC-G

PAC-G has four member characterisation institutes. These are the European Neutron Source (ILL), the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF), the GENESIS neutron generator at the Laboratory of Subatomic Physics & Cosmology (LPSC-CNRS) and the Laboratoire d’Electronique et de Technologies de l’Information at the Commissariat à l’Energie Atomique (CEA-LETI).

In addition to the member institutes, PAC-G also has three industrial partners and one associated partner. These are STMicroelectronics, Soitec, Schneider Electric and SERMA Technologies, respectively. For more information about the four members institutes, partners and members of the PAC-G please expand the sections below.

PAC-G Members

SERMA Technologies is an associate partner of the PAC-G and specialises in electronics technologies management “ETM®”, offering consultancy, expertise, analysis, inspection and testing services for components, circuit boards and full electronic systems, and assists its customers throughout the industrial cycle by advising them in the development, durability and reliability of their products.

Ennio Capria
Director PAC-G
Amélie Paillissé
Business Development Manager

Caroline Boudou
Industry Contact Officer
Manon Letiche
Scientific Responsible at ILL
François Legrand
Communication Manager at IRT Nanoelec
Narciso Gambacorti
Program Manager Nanocharacterization at CEA-LETI
Benjamin Cheymol
Responsible GENESIS platform at CNRS-LPSC
Maud Baylac
Head of Accelerator and Ion Source Division at CNRS-LPSC


The PAC-G member institutes offer a unique range of capabilities that cannot be matched anywhere else in the world. Furthermore, many of the techniques that they offer are complementary in nature.

Through PAC-G, our clients have access to a unique multidisciplinary team of knowledge experts. It’s also a more efficient and convenient way of working.

PAC-G offers mail-in services and can carry out proprietary work under NDA/CDA agreements. There are also opportunities for long term collaborations.

Our techniques give access to sample information that cannot be obtained using any other methods.

Many of our applications can be carried out as in situ studies to reveal how properties evolve.

Our multidisciplinary team includes world-renowned experts who are leaders in their fields.


CARAC 2021, The 8th edition

Carac is a unique annual event dedicated to the characterisation of materials for industry.

Carac is a unique annual event dedicated to the characterisation of materials for industry. This 8th edition will be dedicated to imaging techniques, with workshops dedicated to high performance techniques (tomography, chemical mapping, high resolution topography and morphology…). The event will take place on 30 November 2021, from 8.30 am to 4 pm. As part of the COVID19 pandemic, it will be online. This is an opportunity to discover and learn more about materials characterisation techniques for industry.

Carac is a solution to learn more and allow to condense months of knowledge in a few hours. The event is led by the IRT Nanoelec technological research institute, a real innovation accelerator for the microelectronics industry, with the participation of ESRF,ILL,LPSC,CEA-leti,CNRS,UGA, the Néel Institute, Grenoble INP, IRIG.

CARAC 2020, The 7th edition

Characterisation of new electronic components is essential to their design and ultimately to ensuring their reliability.

The 7th edition of the Carac Symposium took place on a Nanoelec webinar platform attracting 50 attendees online.

This edition focused on the performance gains of the very large equipment available at the ESRF, ILL and CNRS/LPSC under the Nanoelec/Carac program.

Carac is a unique event dedicated to materials characterisation for the electronics industry. Before a live online visit of the ESRF and ILL facilities, attendees had the benefit of contributions from the Grenoble-INP, CEA-Leti, Néel and Irig institutes, CNRS-LPSC, ESRF/EBS and ILL.

The DG for Research & Innovation for the EU visiting the ESRF and ILL members of PAC-G

Mr Jean-Eric Paquet, Director General for Research & Innovation European Commission, came to visit the BM05, the ESRF’s beamline co-founded by the IRT NanoElec

On 8th January, the European Photons and Neutrons Campus had the pleasure to host Jean-Eric Paquet, European Commission Director-General for Research and Innovation, European Union, who came to discover the industrial and academic landscape based in Grenoble and to visit the European Synchrotron (ESRF) and the European Neutron Source – the Institute Laue-Langevin (ILL).

During his visit to the ESRF, Jean Susini (Director of Research, ESRF) introduced Mr Paquet to the team managing the Platform for Advanced Characterisation – Grenoble (PAC-G) – and to the PAC-G platform hosted on ESRF’s BM05, which is 50% funded by the IRT Nanoelec. This unique platform includes: a five-circle goniometer, a robot that automatically positions 300 mm and 200 mm wafers on the diffractometer, a mirror to focus the beam to less than 30 microns, an optical microscope to locate the areas (measuring just several microns) to be observed and two 2D detectors effective at high levels of X-ray synchrotron radiation and offering spatial resolution of 60 microns. One of its big advantages is the large size of one of the two detectors (25 cm x 2.5 cm), which makes it possible to rapidly map reciprocal space. Three years since the initial investment, the PAC-G team was able to show Mr Paquet the range of operational, innovative and commercial services tailored for the nano- and micro-electronics industry.

We asked M. Paquet, what was his impression after this day: “How do you consider the role of the ESRF and ILL in the European scenario, with regard to new trends in innovation?”

Jean-Eric Paquet:

The main focus of Research Infrastructures is to perform curiosity-driven fundamental research. However, Research Infrastructures – such as the ESRF and ILL – also have an innovation potential that goes much beyond the direct socio-economic impact in their local and regional ecosystems.

More and more, Research Infrastructures are service providers to industrial players’ needs, such as nano-characterisation of materials, which can have a huge impact on citizens’ lives in areas such as battery development, energy provision, cancer treatment, environmental monitoring, among many others.

Partnering with industry for the supply of high tech components and launching new initiatives, such as ATTRACT, also lays down the foundations for disruptive innovation in key critical technologies. Examples of these developments, which also develop new markets, include the new generation of detectors, virtual astronomical observatories, lenses, protein scanners, magnets, energy efficient computers, etc.

Adding to this, I would also highlight they are the perfect multi-disciplinary test-beds, as their users – scientists and industrial players – cover virtually all fields of science, from physics, chemistry and biology, to energy, medicine, cultural heritage and engineering.


You can catch up with members of the PAC-G team at any of the events listed below.

G-RAD(NEXT) 2022

The Workshop on Radiation Facilities and Testing of Semiconductor Devices and Systems for Industry

4 mai 2022

X-ray Bragg diffraction imaging (“topography”)

15 December 2021 Grenoble, France

X-ray Bragg diffraction imaging

X-ray Bragg diffraction imaging (historically called “X-ray topography”) is a unique characterisation tool for assessing and visualising crystal quality and defects across a wide range of technologically important crystalline materials.

CARAC 2021

To practice successful imaging technics in microelectronic

30 November 2021
Grenoble, France

CARAC, a unique event dedicated to the characterisation of materials for industry. The annual event dedicated to characterisation techniques that fit to electronics domain and beyond.

G-RAD 2020

The event for radiation testing of semiconductor devices and systems

09-10 December 2020
Grenoble, France

G-RAD is the event dedicated to Radiation testing of semiconductor devices and systems, organised by PAC-G, supported by IRT Nanoelec and the European projects CalipsoPlus, NFFA and SINE2020.

CARAC 2020

The event for characterisation of materials for industry

24 November 2020
Grenoble, France

CARAC, a unique event dedicated to the characterisation of materials for industry. CARAC event offers in one day, the visits to the characterisation platforms and the large facilities based in Grenoble.


Below we’ve listed some of the most common questions that we get asked. Please click on a question to see the answer. If you have other questions for us then please contact us

What is the PAC-G?

PAC-G stands for Platform for Advanced Characterisation Grenoble. It is a single entry-point for the advanced characterisation services provided by the European Synchrotron (ESRF), the European neutron source (ILL) and the Laboratory of Subatomic physics and cosmology (LPSC). The particularity of the PAC-G is to address the semiconductors market, specifically micro- and nano- electronics instead of having a broad range of sectors. The access is done in a fast and cost- competitive manner, with confidentiality levels adapted to your needs, which makes it particularly interesting for industrial research. Our scientists will set up the instruments beamlines and, depending on the service chosen, will perform the measurements and analyze the data.

No need for proposals, peer reviews or publications. We secure beamtime and also provide advice on the best technique (or combination of techniques) to use based on your characterization challenge.

The PAC-G was created within the frame of the French Technological Research Institute (IRT) Nanoelec, funded under the Investissements d’avenir economic stimulus package, (grant ANR-10-AIRT-05).

PAC-G aim is to open the large-scale facilities of Grenoble to the industry with characterisation services. If you are interested in other ways of collaborating with these research facilities (long-term collaborations, PhD proposals, public research etc.) we invite you to contact us and we will put you in contact with the right person inside these organisations.

PAC-G characterisation services are tailored for industrial R&D.

You can contact us at, or by phone +33 (0)4 57 42 80 77

One of our scientists will be in contact with you as soon as possible to understand your needs and characterisation challenges. In this process, technical meetings can be arranged. You will need to have good knowledge about your samples and the type of information you are trying to obtain; Typically at this stage confidentiality agreements are signed (NDA, CDA etc.)

Once we clearly understand what you are trying to do, we can advise you on the best techniques to use. If you already have that in mind, we can start assessing beam time and setups needed for your test. At this stage, price is evaluated and a quote is prepared.

If the quote is accepted, your test will be scheduled at the shortest possible delay, typically one month.

If requested, our scientists will perform the measurements. We encourage the participation of our clients, not only for the fun of science but also to answer some specific questions about the samples we might have during the experiment.

Depending on the service chosen, our scientists will perform the data analysis and deliver the results. We can also recommend other companies that can help you in this task.

If needed, we can also provide assistance in the interpretation of these results.

Yes, if you are already familiar with synchrotron X-rays or neutrons you can book only the beamtime and perform your experiments. You will have a local contact available to help you in case you need any assistance.

Yes. The main role of the PAC-G is to provide all the support needed in the use of large-scale facilities, from experts to new users. Starting from the expression of your need, we can structure a test plan and also guide you through our portfolio of techniques in order to find a suitable solution.

PAC-G techniques use synchrotron X-rays and neutrons to probe matter like giant microscopes, giving useful information from wafer-level characterization, device and system level characterization.

PAC-G TechniqueInformation Derived
XRD (group of techniques)Crystal structure, composition, crystalline grain size, phase recognition, lattice parameters
3D Reciprocal Space mappingTexture (crystallographic orientation of grains), microstructure, internal phases
Reflectometry (XRR, NR)Thickness, roughness, electronic density, delaminations, interface characterisation
X-ray topography (XRT) (Group of techniques)Crystal defects, dislocations, residual strain, stress, deformation
Small Angle Scattering (SAXS, SANS)Defects (voids) size, size distribution, growth kinetics, Statistical characterisation
Critical dimension SAXS (CD-SAXS)Morphology of line grating nano-objects (line width and height, picth size (period), line edge roughness, etc.
Tomography (Neutron and X-ray)Morphology, defects, cracks, voids, precipitates, 3D visualisation, water/H contamination
X-ray fluorescence, Neutron Depth ProfileContaminants, dopants concentration, chemical mapping
14 MeV neutron irradiationSingle-event effects (SEE) sensitivity, random fault-injection, pre-qualification of electronic components
Low energy neutron irradiation (thermal)Single-event effects (SEE) sensitivity
Pulsed, focused X-ray irradiationLocalised fault injection, Single-event effects (SEE) sensitivity

Price is generally derived from beam time price rate of the facility the test is going to be using. Contact us for a quote.

Paid access is normally scheduled in the shortest possible delay, typically 1 month.

Synchrotron X-rays and neutrons have applications in a variety of R&D topics like process development and optimization, development of models and yield enhancement, failure analysis and reliability investigations, radiation hardness testing.

PAC-G is the result of a partnership between the ESRF, ILL and LPSC and as such, it is a part of those facilities. It works as an entry point, managing accounts and customer relationship. There are no margins or extra-costs associated with the use of the PAC-G, which is staffed by employees from ESRF and ILL.

The aim of PAC-G is to foster industrial use of large-scale research facilities for proprietary research through paid services, which are confidential by nature. If a client wants to publish all or part of his research involving the PAC-G, we will provide all the support he needs so he can do it. There are no obligations though.

Contact PAC-G

71 Avenue des Martyrs,
38000 Grenoble,

+33 (0)4 76 88 25 06