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

Another article out: Hydride formation on defective CeO2 monitored by NAP-XPS

As a follow-up on our work about reduced ceria nanoparticles, we used near-ambient-pressure XPS to characterize the surface state under H2 moderate pressure. We show that homolytic cleavege on Ce(III) sites is the main activation path at 100 °C, forming a significant amount of surface hydrides. This is a key insight to further develop ceria as a self-standing catalyst for low-temperature hydrogenation reactions. Read the article.

With: Rémi, Sophie


New article: Unveiling the effect of phosphines on Nickel Nanocatalysts

Still chasing NanoFLPs! as part as our ERC project, Karim and Anthony showed that well-chosen phosphines allow reducing the onset temperature of terminal alkyne hydrogenation in colloidal suspension of Ni nanoparticles. Read the article.

With: Karim, Anthony, Sophie


February 29, 2024: Congrats to Anthony!

Anthony Ropp defended his PhD thesis with brio. Titled "Phosphine-enhanced activity of transition metal nanocatalysts for H2 activation", his work dealt with a variety of metal and metal phosphide nanoparticles decorated with phosphine ligands. Congrats!


November 25, 2023: Agora des Nanos

I participated at Théâtre de la Ville to an exciting scientific mediation event: after a presentation of my activities to a group of students from Ecole Estiennes, they conceived and produced a poster for a broad public. Splendid work from their side! It allowed for a rich discussion with the public.

A few other scientists were also invited to share their work wih the students, which made up for a very interesting poster session, for us, for them, and most importantly for a public keen to discuss about nanosciences.


November 2-3, 2023: TraPCat3 conference

I was invited to this conference in Toulouse, about catalysis and nanochemistry and gave a plenary talk about our recent results in the ERC NanoFLP project. It was an exciting meeting with a lot of new connections made!


New article: Phosphines and Cobalt Phosphide Nano-Urchins

In the quest of NanoFLPs, as part as our ERC project, Anthony and Rémi developped these fancy nano-urchins that are able to hydrogenate phenylacetylene when put in the presence of a well-chosen phosphine. Read the article.

With: Anthony, Rémi, Sophie


September 28, 2023: PhD Defense of Léna Meyniel

Today, Léna defended her PhD thesis, titled "Investigation of the Nano-Bio Interface by the Design and Development of Nanostructured Lanthanide Oxysulfide Thin Films using Ellipsometric and Electrochemical Techniques". Her work was co-supervised with Natacha Krins, from the RMES team of the lab.

Congrats Léna!


More News | Back to top

Featured Results

Make them safer

It's a small step for the world of nanoparticles, but a big step for our beloved oxysulfides nanoplates: in this work, we propose to evaluate, in a very preliminary approach, some of the interactions of the nanoparticles with macrophage cells. We turned on the lamp (visible light) and monitored the impact in the production of radicals. Read for yourself.


Did you say NanoFLP?

We have been proposing for a while to use metal nanoparticles as partners in Frustrated Lewis Pairs. Now, we found that nickel-cobalt nanoparticles associated to well-chosen phosphines likely form such a pair, based on the correlation between Si-H bond activation and the Tolman cone angle of the phosphine: only a tiny range of steric hindrance is suitable, and it is related to the silane bulkiness. We believe we nailed it. Make your own opinion.


Molybdenum mapped out

Molybdenum is a key element of the energy transition. X-ray absortion spectroscopy at the L-edge is an amazing way to analyze it in solids, liquids, composites, etc. Here, we wrote some simple guidelines to interpret the data and we provided a consistent series of spectra for well-known, and less-know, Mo compounds. Read our map.


Green deal on nanocarbides

Here is a dream reaction: no solvent, no waste (except salt), no heat input. Check out how we produced a variety of metal carbide nanoparticles supported on graphite or acetylene black. We also discuss secondary formation of hydrides, metals and oxides using a simple adiabatic approximation.


Water matters

We revisited copper nanoparticles synthesis and showed that, depending on the precursor, the amount of water produced in situ is slightly different. This is enough to modulate the catalytic processes that consume the solvent and reducing agent of the reaction: oleylamine. Read how and why.


More Featured Results | Back to top


Contact information

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