The 1st of May, we have learned with deep sadness the decease of Serge Pujol after a few months of fight with a cancer. Well known by ILL instrument teams and numerous users from more than 40 countries for decades, Serge has been a key staff until his retirement in 2005 and contributed tremendously to the success of the ILL.
At the beginning of the 70s, when the facility started the user programme, physicists needed cryostats for cooling their samples. In 1975, after encountering numerous difficulties with cryostats purchased in different countries, Serge Pujol and Dominique Brochier designed and built a new type of cryostat which will later be called the Orange Cryostat.
They were so successful that they started building them in series and then invented the Cryofurnace in 1983 for answering the demand of chemists who wanted to work below and above room temperature. Physicists then required temperatures lower than 1.5 K, Serge built dilution inserts with Charlie Neumaier and Jean-Louis Ragazzoni and then a dilution cryostat with Alain Benoît (CNRS). These systems were much more practical because it was not necessary to remove cryogens for changing samples.
In order to access the full reciprocal space, Serge then built a 4-circle He flow cryostat in 1987 followed by a dilution cryostat insensitive to gravity with Alain Benoît in 1991. Today, this world-unique cryostat is still very demanded on the single-crystal diffractometer D10. He also designed and built the Cryoflipper and the first Cryopads, helping Francis Tasset to develop the Spherical Neutron Polarimetry technique.
Serge was passionate and an uncontested expert in cryogenics. He used to share his know-how with his colleagues and friends Jean-Paul Gonzales and Maurice de Palma and all others he was meeting on the instruments. Before the end of his carrier, he took the time to teach a new generation who now supports users with great success.
We are extremely grateful and mourn today a person of great value.
Thank you Serge.