The main objective of the “Durability and Engineering of Materials” center is to assess the durability of several types of materialsunder relevant environments, understanding their failure modes, improve their performances and raise their lifetime. They work closely with industry to:

  • Optimize the choice of materials;
  • Increase the service lifetime of the components;
  • Reduce maintenance costs.

Outdoor test activities with parallel accelerated laboratory testing are conducted enabling an understanding of materials degradation, guidelines and improved materials are also developed.


The activity of the center covers two aspects:

1- Durability of materials used in the field of solar energy

In this area, the center is interested in studying the sustainability of solar components (mirrors, photovoltaic modules, metal structures, etc…).

2- Durability and engineering of materials used in industry

In this area, the center’s activity is focused on:

  • Development and optimization of new materials to improve their performance;
  • Failure analysis of metal components;
  • Design of laboratory testing rigs to simulate real working conditions of materials;
  • Optimization of industrial manufacturing processes through the in-depth study of all parameters (process and treatment).
  • Physical and chemical behavior of materials;
  • Mechanisms of degradation and rupture of materials;
  • Analysis of environmental constraints;
  • Design of experimental test facilities;
  • Concentrated solar power systems and photovoltaics.
  • Renewable energies: Raising the lifetime of functional materials for concentrated solar power (CSP) and photovoltaics (PV) technologies;
  • Railways: Detailed microscopic and chemical analyzes, mechanical, metal and stamping tests;
  • Chemical industry: Assembly of test benches, study of corrosion phenomena;
  • Steel and mining: Metallurgical and mechanical studies;
  • Coatings: Evaluating and rankingcoatings performanceregarding dust repellent properties, erosion and corrosion.

The “Composites and Nano-composites” center develops multidisciplinary research themes relating to the manufacturing, processing and prototyping of composites, nano-composites and bio-composites, for applications in different industrial sectors.

The center has an implementation laboratory, notably equipped with industrial extruders and rheometers, allowing the manufacture and characterization of composite materials.

  • Improvement of the different properties of the material: rigidity, ductility, thermal stability, recycling, rheology;
  • Development, optimization of the manufacturing process and evaluation of the performance of composite, nano-composite and bio-composite materials;
  • Development of new additives for the manufacture of plastics (oxo-biodegradable);
  • Chemical modification of reinforcing particles;
  • Development of new heterocyclic surfactants;
  • Construction of chemo library;
  • Promotion of Moroccan clays, polymers and bio-polymers, phosphate derivatives and natural fibers.
  • Organic chemistry;
  • Nanocomposite;
  • Nanocharge;
  • Functionalization and characterization;
  • Composites;
  • Rheology;
  • Mechanical characterization;
  • Continuum mechanics ;
  • Fluid mechanics ;
  • Materials for energy storage;
  • Materials for water treatment;
  • Organic synthesis;
  • Structural elucidation.
  • Automotive: development of new composite materials reinforced with clay, natural fibers and new nanocomposite materials.
  • Aeronautics: manufacture of Nano-composites based on purified Moroccan clays.
  • Chemical Industry: chemistry and organic chemistry for the paint and phosphate industries.
  • Pharmaceutical industry: new heterocyclic systems for therapeutic purposes.
  • Building materials: development of new prefabricated composites.
Center description

The Optics and Photonics Center, called MAScIR Photonics Center(MPC), the first of its kind in Africa, focuses on the development of advanced technologies in the field of optics and photonics,firmly grounded on a know how; e.g. scientific and technological knowledge, and a state-of-the-art technical platform that allows it to develop photonic systems and materials, and characterize their different properties. The center’s research covers a broad spectrum of topics ranging from fundamental to applied fields, and in-depth research covering areas of national and international interest in the field of nanotechnology,and renewable energies, mainly photovoltaics; from materials to solar cells,andplasmonics, and biophotonic systems for health; e.g. thermal phototherapy with gold nanoparticles, and biosensors based on waveguides and plasmon technology, and nanomaterials, as well as information technologies, and 3D laser micro- nanoprinting, and remote sensing for precision agriculture, including LIDAR technology. The areas of competence of the center extend beyond these topics.

MPC carries out research and development work with Moroccan universities, such as UM5R at Rabat and UM6P at Benguerir, and industries, such as OCP, through joint projects,and gives MAScIR its African and international dimension with projects carried out jointly with several African countries, within the framework of the African Laser Center (ALC in English) whose presidency is joint between Morocco and South Africa. MPCworks on projects with Europeanscoutries, within the framework of the H2020 program; and with Asian countries, such as Japan via the twinning with Osaka University in the field of nano-functional photonics: study of new nano-optical / photonics functions resulting from interaction of photon materials and nanostructures. Our center also posses collaboration with Canada through the Laval Photonics Center COPL, and USA in particular for the organization of international conferences in photonics (SPIE). Such a network gives the center an important place in the international R&D chessboard and guarantees an influence and benchmarking at the international level.

  • Development of highly sensitive sensors based on plasmonic technology;
  • Development of thin films for solar energy harvesting;
  • Elaboration of solar cell devices based on thin film technology;
  • Simulation and optimization of photonic devices;
  • Development of transparent conductive oxides by physical and chemical methods;
  • Test and evaluation of solar cell panels;
  • Plasmonics: Development of SPR and Fano and Nanoparticle sensors;
  • Holography and optical tweezing;
  • Photochemistry;
  • LIDAR technology & Optical Spectroscopy (Raman; IR): Remote sensing for precision agriculture
  • Functional materials for photonics: smart materials and molecular machines
  • Nanoparticles for plasmonic photothermal therapy (PPTT);
  • Laser 3D printing technology for micro- nano-objects.
  • Nanotechnology;
  • Nanomaterials;
  • Optical systems & Photonics;
  • Solar cells and PV panels;
  • Optical sensors;
  • Bio-sensors;
  • Thin layers and optoelectronic components;
  • Embedded systems ;
  • Spectroscopy;
  • Electronics and tele-communications;
  • Optical fiber ;
  • Remotesensing
  • Teledection ;
  • Aerial image processing;
  • Custom-made optical setups.
AREAS OF ACTIVITY (with industrials):
  • Automotive: development of materials, sensors, and 3D printed objects;
  • Environment: detection of impurities in water and air, green energy, conversion efficiency and yield.
  • Phosphates: characterization of phosphate resources and purification of silicon.
  • Chemistry: quality control system (Resins & Organic based energy efficiency products).
  • Agriculture: smart and precision agriculture, soil mapping, and fertilizers.
  • Health: bio-photonic devices and development of micro- nanostructures.

The Center “Valorization of Natural Resources (VARENA)” develops R&D projects related to the needs of Moroccan industrial and socio-economic development. The center aims to valorize Moroccan biomass and natural resources into high added value products with applications in the fields of agriculture, materials, environment, energy and sustainability. The developed projects are based on a multidisciplinary approach to materials, biomaterials, nanomaterials and catalysis through design with a specific interest accorded to the development of fertilizer’s formulations and coating materials to design new slow/controlled release fertilizers.
The VARENA center is fully equipped with advanced technologies for fertilizer’s synthesis, granulation and coating. Backed by the materials platform, provides various analyzes and carries out structural, morphological, thermal, textural and mechanical studies of materials on a micrometric and nanometric scale.

  • Fertilizers chemistry
  • Design, development and characterization of materials;
  • Formulation for the coating of fertilizers, glues, paints and dyes;
  • Structural, physicochemical, thermal, morphological, textural, mechanical and rheological analyzes and characterizations.
  • Chemical industry: organic chemistry for fertilizers, dyeing, painting, etc;
  • Building materials: hydrophobic formulation of coatings (Concrete, cement) and rheological and particle size, physico-chemical and mechanical studies;
  • Textiles: characterization and development of intelligent textiles for multifunctional applications;
  • Environment: green chemistry, detection of drug residues in wastewater.