The Institute Charles Gerhardt Montpellier (ICGM), Institute for Molecular Chemistry and Material Sciences, is a Joint Research Unit (UMR 5253) created in January 2007 and supported by the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), Université de Montpellier (UM) and Ecole Nationale Supérieure de Chimie de Montpellier (ENSCM).

The ICGM is a multidisciplinary laboratory working in the fields of Energy, Environment and Health. Organized in three scientific departments, it represents 240 permanent staff and over 200 non-permanent staff (including doctoral students, post-doctoral students, and visiting/guest researchers).


Missions and Themes

The research in the Institute Charles Gerhardt Montpellier is oriented around three main domains to which each team of the laboratory contributes:
  • Molecules to materials: molecular, macromolecular and supramolecular chemistry, self-organization, nanostructuration, hybrids, nano-materials.
  • advanced Materials: applications to energy, environment, sustainable development, health.
  • modelling: structures, properties and reactivity of molecules and materials.

The main objectives of the ICGM are to :
  • Strengthen the nationally- and internationally-recognized themes of excellence in the domains of chemistry for nanosciences (self-organization, nanostructuring, nanomaterials), energy (storage and microstorage) and the environment (clean chemistry , control, decontamination and sustainable development)
  • Provide the ICGM chemists and all of the academic and private researchers of the Occitanie region, the most successful tools and methodologies of study and characterization appropriate to the theme "Elaboration and study of materials, from molecular level to shaping to the study of physical properties".
  • Actively participate in the development of Master's degrees and in the implementation of personnel training plans.
  • Gather the students of the Doctoral School of Chemical and Physical Sciences for which the Institute is an important support.
  • Develop technology transfers and encourage the creation of new business start-ups.



The ICGM at the heart of the Pôle Chimie Balard research


Founded in 2007 by the Universities of Montpellier 1 and 2, the Ecole Nationale Supérieure de Chimie of Montpellier, the CNRS and the CEA, the Pôle Chimie Balard is a pole of excellence, visible and attractive at the European and international level, on the major issues of economic and sustainable development, and on societal issues.

The Institute Charles Gerhardt Montpellier is at the heart of research for Sustainable Development at the Pôle Chimie Balard. Along with the Institute Européen des Membranes, the Institute des Biomolécules Max Mousseron and the Institute de Chimie Séparative de Marcoule, the ICGM is one of the structural members of the Pôle Chimie Balard.

The Institute Charles Gerhardt Montpellier

The Institute Charles Gerhardt Montpellier, Institute for Molecular Chemistry and Material Sciences - UMR 5253 CNRS/UM/ENSCM

From molecules to materials, interface chemistry / physics; development, characterization, modeling and implementation of new materials: nanomaterials, materials for energy, optics, information storage, catalysis and the environment. 3 scientific departments / 11 research teams.
Director: Jean-Marie Devoisselle

The Institute des Biomolécules Max Mousseron

The Institute des Biomolécules Max Mousseron - UMR 5247 CNRS/UM/ENSCM

From molecules to medicinal products; interfaces Chemistry/Biology Health; molecules in life sciences: lipids, sugars, peptides and proteins, biopolymers; mechanism of action in biomolecules; search for new therapeutic targets. 6 research teams.
Director : Pascal Dumy

The Institute Européen des Membranes

The Institute Européen des Membranes - UMR 5635 CNRS/ENSCM/UM

Membrane-bound materials, finalized by innovative processes; production and transfer of energy, biotechnologies, food and health; interface Chemistry/Process Engineering-SPI. 6 research teams.
Director: Philippe Miele

The Institute de Chimie Séparative de Marcoule

The Institute de Chimie Séparative de Marcoule - UMR 5257 CEA/CNRS/UM/ENSCM
Sustainable nuclear and economy of matter; chemistry of actinides; interfacial chemistry, sono-chemistry, nanomaterials, isotopic chemistry. 8 research teams.
Director : Stéphane Pellet-Rostaing

Charles Gerhardt

Charles Gerhardt was a French chemist born in Strasbourg on August 21, 1816. He first worked as a chemist with Otto Erdmann at the Business School in Leipzig, Germany.

After short periods working for his father’s lead factory and the cavalry, he returned to school in 1936, studying chemistry under the guidance of Professor Liebig. He moved to Paris in 1838 where, thanks to the recommendation of Prof. Liebig, he followed the courses taught by Jean-Baptiste Dumas and worked with Auguste Cahours on essential oils (such as cumin) in the laboratory of Michel Eugene Chevreul. At that time, he earned a precarious living by teaching and translating some of Prof. Liebig’s notes.

In 1841, through the influence of Prof. Dumas he obtained the chair of chemistry at the Faculty of Science in Montpellier and was a full professor there from 1844 until 1851. Charles Gerhardt left Montpellier in 1848 for Paris, where he created a School of Practical Chemistry that did not attain any real success. In 1855, he joined the Faculty of Sciences and Polytechnique School in Strasbourg and died one year later on the 19th of August.

Charles Gerhardt’s major achievements were the synthesis of anhydric acids, especially the synthesis of acetylsalicylic acid (aspirin). With his colleague Auguste Laurent (1807–1953), he contributed to the modernization of the methods of chemical formulation by insisting on the distinction between atoms, molecules, and equivalents. Charles Gerhardt introduced the concept of “function” in organic chemistry. Gerhardt’s most important writings are the “Précis de Chimie Organique (1844–1845)” and the “Traité de Chimie Organique (1853–1856)”.

Charles Gerhardt in a few dates
  • 1833-1834 : Leipzig (1st thesis), then Researcher Assistant in Prof. Liebig’s group.
  • 1841 : Ph.D. Thesis at the Botanical Garden (Jardin des Plantes).
  • 1841-1848 : Lecturer at the Faculty of Sciences in Montpellier.
  • 1848-1853 : Head of the School of Chemistry in Paris.
  • 1854 : Professor at the School of Pharmacy and Faculty of Sciences in Strasbourg.

Institut Charles Gerhardt Montpellier - Direction

  • Pôle Chimie Balard Recherche
  • CC 043 - 1919 route de Mende
  • 34293 Montpellier cedex 5
  • Tel: +33 (0)4 67 61 36 14
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