Centre Castaing


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Raimond Castaing Microanalysis Centre

Presentation of the Raimond Castaing Hub

Raimond Castaing Microanalysis Centre

The Raimond Castaing Microanalysis Centre is a Services Unit housed in the Espace Clement Ader located at Montaudran in the scientific complex to the south-east of Toulouse known as “Toulouse Montaudran Aerospace”.

The Castaing Centre includes six new instruments funded by the CPER 2007-2013 (Contrat de Plan Etat-Région) and six of several resource services that each had their own separate existence :

  • the TEMSCAN service of University Paul Sabatier
  • the electron microprobe housed at the GET (CNRS)
  • the SIMS service housed at INSA
SIMS Cameca IMS 4FE6
Servie SIMS Toulouse

These instruments enable users to respond rapidly to increasingly demanding analysis requirements.

The aim behind creating the Castaing Centre was to dispose of a panel of analytical instruments of the highest European standard accessible to all researchers of Midi-Pyrenees working in the field of Materials and having precise needs in multi-scale analysis of solid objects.

The Castaing Centre is staffed by technicians and engineers specialised in the techniques of analysis and specimen preparation.

The Castaing Centre works by benefiting from the scientists in the domain, teacher-researchers and researchers present in the diverse laboratories of the University of Toulouse.


For the users of this new Centre , beyond satisfying immediate research needs in optimal conditions of operation and assistance by the technical personnel, our aim is to develop existing interactions and encourage those resulting from the use of these services by researchers of many different disciplines. Note that the research units supporting this project depend on a variety of CNRS institutes.

Finally the work of these laboratories is closely linked to the regional economy. It is clear that many of the studies carried out are naturally aligned with the areas of excellence of Midi-Pyrenees “Cancer – Bio – Health ”, of Midi-Pyrenees & Aquitaine, “Aeronautics – Space – On-board Systems”, of Centre & Limousin & Midi-Pyrenees “European Centre for Ceramics”, and the Midi-Pyrenees-Toulouse Nanosciences Centre “C’Nano”.

The Castaing Centre is an operational service structure with the vocation of making material resources available to operational research structures, and to perform the actions required to support research activities. Its aim is not to carry out its own research programmes.

Centred around equipment that is accessible to the whole scientific community and the various fields of expertise offered by its staff and users in a single location, what the Castaing Centre does is offer large possibilities of cross-analysis between complementary techniques along with scientific discussion with experts. The organisation of seminaries around the techniques proposed enables cross-fertilisation between the different fields of science : physics, chemistry, materials science, sciences of the universe (Earth Sciences, Astronomy and Astrophysics), and engineering & systems.


The future objectives of the Castaing Centre are to continue the approach initiated back in 2006 in collaboration with the Department of Research and Valorisation of the University of Toulouse. Following extensive consultations, the trend for equipment acquisition by the UMS will be oriented towards enriching and optimising the services offered to research laboratories and to the industrial sector. This involves setting up a coherent site policy for electron microscopy, microanalysis and all the associated techniques, on a regional level.

The Castaing Centre will be able to perform observations and analyses for regional industry and simultaneously direct the users towards the appropriate laboratories for their research requirements.

This interaction with the world of industry is one of the declared aims of the Castaing Centre since the innovations necessary to pursue and develop activities related to high technology in the Midi-Pyrenees Region imply an ever-better control of objects and materials right down to the nanometric scale in order to elucidate the complex phenomena affecting their production or properties (multiphysics coupling).