Category Archives: language

In one FEL swoop

“I suppose in about fortnight we shall be told that he has been seen in San Francisco. It is an odd thing, but everyone who disappears is said to be seen at San Francisco. It must be a delightful city, and possess all the attractions of the next world.”
― Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray.

Lately, many of my colleagues have been leaving DOE light sources (Berkeley Lab and SLAC National Lab) to work for startup companies, and it seems that they all try to build better sources (probably based on Free Electron Lasers.)

Such companies are Tau Systems, xLight and a third one which seems to be stealth but looks light a giant black hole, given the pool of talent it managed to attract.

Good EUV sources have always been a problem, and the current solution using laser pulsed plasma, blasting 40kW of CO2 laser power onto 100um tin beads at khz rates to generate ~200W of EUV is totally crazy, but it works. Still, there must be better ways to do it, and given the unit cost of a EUV litho scanner ($200M), improving the uptime and productivity even by a few percent would be extremely valuable…

I’m wishing good luck to my colleagues going his route, this is quite exciting!

When we were young

I grew up on the island of Guadeloupe (before moving to Saint-Martin.)

Since then, the kids I used to splash on the lagoon of Saint-Anne have grown quite a bit, and they’re now sharing the beauty of their islands and their many travels – enjoy!



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I’m on bluesky social – it’s pretty quiet at the moment, come and join me!

My handle is

It’s cold, I need you around me!

SFMOMA x Berkeley Lab: Hybrid forms

Yesterday I invited Tanya Zimbardo from the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art to give a talk at Berkeley Lab (details about the even can be found here: Hybrid Forms: Connecting Art and Science)

Tanya Zimbardo (SFMONA) at Berkeley Lab

It was quite interesting to hear her perspective on a topic which is close to my heart, and happy to hear many references to Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, who currently has the Techs-Mechs exhibition running at the Gray Area, but also quite surprising not hear anything about Jim Campbell (whose art glows atop the Salesforce building “Eye of Sauron”) or the work of Illuminate.

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I’ve added a few old drone videos on youtube. Here are my favorites (the playlist is here)

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How do you spell croissants

Finding the best croissants in the San Francisco is an essential quest. Here are a few great options:

  • Rotha (East Bay) – 1051 San Pablo Ave, Albany, CA
  • Arsicault (San Francisco) – 97 Arguello Blvd, San Francisco, CA
  • Marvel Cake (South Bay) – 1614 W Campbell Ave, Campbell, CA

I won’t dare to mention pastry shops that bake monstrosities such as Cronuts, Croffle or Croffin (there must beat cosmic justice, Mr. Holmes went down.)

I’ll take a minute to say a word about Bakesum (3249 Grand Ave,  Oakland, CA), a French pastry / Asian flavor fusion that started in Berkeley during the pandemic, very close to where I lived and brought me a lot of joy when I needed most.

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A fabulous man

I watched The Fabelmans by Steven Spielberg, a beautiful tribute to the physicality of the movie making process.

I on the advice of my friend John Keitel (who lives in LA) and I was particularly struck by the invisible link between the “Ditch day” scene in The Fabelmans, and his short film “An All-American Story” (~1991), a tale of coming out in the 90s. It’s a a heartfelt movie, and an occasion to look at the progress we’ve made since – hopefully we’ll never go back to these days.

While we’re talking about memories on reel, I can only recommend you to watch Jonas Mekas’ As I Was Moving Ahead Occasionally I Saw Brief Glimpses of Beauty (streaming on Mubi), one of my all time favorite movies – over four hours of bliss.


Acronyms, I like acronyms!

Here are two resources that I found useful for (1) supervising researchers (SMART) and (2) mentoring scientists (TGROW)


(this is an excerpt from the Virtual Remote Mentor Guide -DOE-SC-WDTS Programs)
SMART is an acronym for a framework to help guide goal setting. It is intended to ensure that goals are planned, clear, trackable, and reachable. With SMART goals, you are more likely to achieve the goal efficiently and effectively. Below is an overview of the framework to establish SMART goals.

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Life upgrade: I moved to Sausalito!

It’s pretty nice out there, living just across the marina, stand up paddling with my partner at sunset, and sailing through the bay on foggy days.

1000 days

Today is the thousandth day since the start of the pandemic, and we still haven’t figured out how to hold efficient meetings online.Here’s a useful resource:

A practical guide to Remote & Hybrid Communications – Berkeley Executive Education

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