Laurent Billon is Professor at the University of Pau & Pays de l’Adour where he teaches Polymer Science. He is Deputy Director of the IPREM UMR 5254 and leads a group of researchers on bio-inspired materials by studying their functionality and self-assembly capacity. His research activity is based on the realisation of new macromolecular architectures (block and/or gradient copolymers, microgels) which can, if necessary, call upon bio-resources (terpenes, natural fibres) in order to study their self-assembly to create hierarchically structured surfaces from the nanometre to the micrometre or bio-inspired materials.
The fields of application of this research through industrial and international relations are in the field of cosmetics and health, but also in new energies. He is the coordinator of the European project eSCALED within a consortium of 12 partners and 14 PhD students from 8 different countries. The scientific theme of eSCALED is to mimic Natural Photosynthesis: Artificial Photosynthesis. The objective is to use abundant resources on the Earth’s surface, such as solar energy, CO2 and water, to synthesise solar fuels, hydrogen or carbon molecules as building blocks for chemistry (methanol, formic acid, etc.). This approach consists of storing the Sun’s energy in molecular form, a concept developed by Nature some time ago.