The objective of this project aims at developing a new generation of transparent soils that measure the biological and chemical status of soils. This will enable, for the first time, to characterise transport at the surface of soil particles and to elucidate the role of root–particle–particle contacts, exudation and microbial transformation on the bioavailability of nitrate and ammonium. The consortium will combine the expertise of the three partners: biology of soils, plant biology, optics, chemical engineering, chemistry to image and characterise nitrogen movement in soil at the micro-scale. The contribution of IAM team deals with the synthesis of fluorinated copolymers with low refractive index (as low as that of water) to produce some such transparent soils. They can be obtained by radical copolymerization of two or three specific fluorinated monomers, each of them bearing appropriate function to allow some nutriments to plants, to lower the hydrophobicity, and to be able to be characterized optically by another partner.

Publié le 05/05/2019