Sophie Carenco | CNRS Researcher at Sorbonne University

(Nano)Chemistry, inside and out

My research is centered on the design, synthesis and applications of nanoparticles using the tools of molecular and materials chemistry.

News and highlights

Article on Nickel-Cobalt NanoFLP

Very happy to share our first publication proposing the concept of NanoFLP, that is, nanoparticles as partners in Frustrated Lewis Pairs. We investigated the activation of Si-H bonds by Lewis acid NiCo nanoparticles and a series of phosphines as Lewis base. We demonstrate the key effect of the Tolman cone angle on the success of the reaction, which strongly suggests that we achieved the formation of a NanoFLP in the colloidal solution. This is the key concept of ERC Starting Grant NanoFLP, a project that started in 2018. Read the paper.

With: Alberto, Sophie


Sept 13-15, 2021: Meeting on Nanosciences Advances

This week, I am participating to an onsite (!) conference about nanosciences. This is a highly interdisciplinary week under the auspices of the CNano network, in which I am presenting our recent paper on metal carbide nanoparticles.

MNA 2021

Sept 1-3, 2021: WiFO conference from the German Chemical Society (online)

I was invited to give a talk at this international forum organized by the GdCh, in the symposium concerning phosphorus chemistry. A great opportunity to share our latest results on metal phosphide nanoparticles!

WiFO 2021

Article on Molybdenum L-edge XAS

Compared with Mo K-edge, the Mo L-edge is less often employed to analyze materials, catalysts or processes. In this article, we provide guidelines to measurement and a series of reference spectra, including some from air-sensitive compounds. This work was done with the team of B. Lassalle-Kaiser at synchrotron Soleil. Read the paper.

With: Alexy, Rémi, Cyprien, Kim, Sophie


July 9, 2021: Award from the French Chemical Society

I am honored to be the recipient of the "Researcher Award" from the Solid State Chemistry Division of the French Chemical Society for year 2021. This yearly national award exists since 1977 and distinguished a number of chemists: here, the list of awardees.

Many thanks to all the colleagues involved in our various projects since I joined CNRS in 2014!

Accepted article on Nanocarbides

In this work, we discuss the solid-state metathesis reaction between metal chlorides and potassium dispersed in carbon, forming nano-carbides along other phases such as metals and hydrides.We decipher the phase speciation in relation with the experimental parameters to propose a unifying mechanism. Read the paper.

With: Rémi, Florian, Alexy, Guillaume, Sophie


July 5-8, 2021: Indisciplinary school on Nanosciences

This week, Léna participated to the annual summer school organized by the C'Nano network. She had the opportunity to learn about all branches of nanosciences and also to present a poster about her own work.

With: Léna

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Featured Results

Amorphous nanoparticles on the spotlight

Many works focus on the electrocatalytic performances of crystallline metal phosphide nanoparticles. Using a new phosphorus donor, we produced amorphous FeP, we showed that the local structure is similar to these of the crystal, and we found it is more active for HER. Check it out.


Finally mapped out!

When we entered the field of oxysulfides in 2015, I found no review on the topic of this rich family of compounds. We took this as a challenge to write it to the community, with a special focus on nanomaterials of course! This review is in Open Access.


Sodium, tell me what you do

We knew for years that sodium ions were mandatory to the formation of colloidal Gd2O2S nanoparticles... but we finally uncovered why! Read the story.


Copper flees the nest

Meticulous work at the bench and the microscope finally brought us to understand what happens to core-shell copper-nickel nanoparticles reacted with white phosphorus: copper migrates out!

This was achieved within a consortium of teams: two teams at Sorbonne Université, Nicolas Mézailles team at LHFA and Ovidiu Ersen team at IPCMS. Read the paper.


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Contact information

Sorbonne Université - LCMCP
Tour 34-44, bureau 412, CC174
4 Place Jussieu
75252 Paris Cedex 05, FRANCE
sophie.carenco* (* is @)
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