The Laboratory of Catalysis and Spectrochemistry (LCS) is a research unit belonging to both ENSICAEN, the University of Caen – Normandy and the CNRS. It was founded in 1978 by the merging of the Laboratory of Catalysis (initiated by François Gault, who had just left Strasbourg) with the Spectrochemistry Laboratory. Jean-Claude Lavalley created from the very beginning the LCS as the French center for infrared spectroscopy in catalysis. In 1990, J. Saussey in the LCS began using IR in situ spectroscopy to study the surface of the catalyst inside the working reactor, an approach that later became known as name of spectroscopy operando .
NMR was added in 2000 to spectroscopic techniques in LCS, and the operando method was rapidly initiated in NMR.
Zeolites have always been an important topic for LCS, but we often relied on other groups to provide samples. In 2009, a major change was made to the scientific scope of the LCS when it was joined by a group specialized in the synthesis of zeolites. This change in the size and scope of LCS research has significantly changed our place and our role in the scientific community. LCS was quickly recognized as one of the leading centers of spectroscopy in catalysis and science of zeolites in France and in Europe.
We have become an important partner of the LABEX EMC3, a structure that organizes joint funding between the main scientific laboratories in Normandy. We have been members of the EPE Energy and Environment Research Federations with CORIA and LOMC in Rouen and Le Havre and with Toxemac, INSERM team) and LABOMAT (coordination of the activities of Materials Laboratories in the North West of France). Since mid-2016, we are also part of the Carnot ESP Institute (Energy and Propulsion System) which should expand our collaborations with companies.