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

Sept 17-21, 2020: Measuring Phosphorus K-edge at LUCIA

Still working with colloidal solutions of nanoparticles, we are measuring the P K-edge in order to monitor surface ligands.

This edge is in the so-called "tender X-ray domain", hence our venue at LUCIA! We are using liquid cells closed by thin membranes that separate the solution from the vacuum of the chamber. This allows the X-ray photons to go in and out the liquid.

Thanks to Benedikt Lassalle and the Soleil staff for welcoming us in the midst of the Covid crisis.

With: Alexy, Alberto, Cyprien, Rémi, Léna, Anthony, Sophie


June 30-July 3, 2020: Back on SAMBA

This week we are studying XANES and EXAFS of air-sensitive colloidal solutions at SAMBA beamline. The picture shows our air-tight setup. Great to be back to SOLEIL after the lockdown period! Huge thanks to Andrea and Guillaume for making the experiment possible at short notice.

With: Alexy, Alberto, Antoine, Sophie


May 11, 2020: End of lockdown in France

While the worst has past, universities and labs will take some time to reopen their doors. Meanwhile, we have now a well-established routine with one NanoSurf meeting per week and good practices for teleworking.


April 28, 2020: Article in ChemNanoMat

We have been interested for a while by phase control in metal phosphide nanoparticles... now we achieved it for iron! A new P4-containing molecule for the synthesis, PDF for the structural investigation, and HER properties as a perspective. This project involved several colleagues from LCMCP, Collège de France and ETH Zürich. Read the paper.

With: Florian, Rémi, Capucine, Sophie, and many others


April 27, 2020: Online jury for a binational PhD Defence

Interesting experience today: I was a referee for the PhD Defence of M. Alves-Favaro (IRCE Lyon and Aachen University). This was a binational thesis in "cotutelle" with the two juries runing parallel evaluations. Due to Covid-19, the whole process happened online.


April 14, 2020: Interview for ChemCatChem

Following the Clara Immerwahr Award, I was interviewed by the journal ChemCatChem (part of Chemistry Europe). Read here.


March 31, 2020: LCMCP Webinar

Rémi was the speaker of the third LCMCP webinar. He presented his recent results in two directions: metal carbides and metal oxides, in the context of colloidal catalysis.

With: Rémi


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Featured Results

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.


Bandgap: adjustable to your taste

Our study of the bandgap of (Gd,Ce)2O2S nanoparticles, combines synthesis, DFT, PDF, UPS, photoluminescence and more. We show how and why the bandgap is tunable from 4.7 to 2.1 eV, simply by playing on the lanthanide ratio in the solid solution. Read the paper.


Copper and NHC: finally united!

This article presents the first report of NHC-stabilized colloidal copper nanoparticles. Using a oxygen-free route, we formed, in one step, trully metallic copper nanoparticles stabilized by NHC ligands. The secret of this good match? An easy-to-reduce [CuMes]n precursor with a more stable NHC-borane adduct.

While XPS shows the NHC coordinated to the copper surface, a detailed study using radical traps proposes elementary steps for the reaction mechanism. 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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