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

Post-doc position opening

There is an opening to join the group as a post-doctoral fellow, from May 2023, on the "Metal-Containing Nanoparticles for the Catalytic Activation of Small Molecules". The project is in the scope of ERC NanoFLP.

The candidate should have a background in catalysis, homogeneous or heterogeneous, using nanoparticles or organometallic complexes. He/she should have a background in inorganic chemistry and materials science.

Job description here.

Post-doc position

New article: Phosphine-Catalyzed Activation of Phenylsilane for Benzaldehyde Reduction

Here, we studied the organocatalyzed hydrosilylation of benzaldehyde with a phosphine, introduced at 10 mol %, and phenylsilane at room temperature. The best results of the screening over 13 phosphines and phosphites were obtained with linear trialkylphoshines (PMe3, PnBu3, POct3), indicating the importance of their nucleophilicity. The products of the hydrosilylation were identified, allowing a monitoring of the concentration in the different species. Read the article.

With: Rémi, Alberto, Cyprien, Sophie


January 13, 2023: Cyprien PhD Defense

Cyprien defended his PhD thesis about "Borane adsorption on MgO nanoparticles for increased catalytic activity in the cycloaddition of CO2 on epoxides".

Congrats to the new doctor!


Article out! Thin film of Lanthanide Oxysulfide Nanoplates

We recently managed to form thin films of lanthanide oxysulfide nanoparticles using colloidal suspensions. The films are of optical quality and the bandgap of the nanoparticles is preserved. The thickness can be finely tuned using various concentration or multiple layer deposition. Read the article.

With: Léna, Cédric, Natacha, Sophie


6-month post-doc position opening

There is an opening to join the group as a post-doctoral fellow or a research engineer fellow, from early 2023 (as soon as January). This innovation project deals with the fabrication of polysiloxanes containing graphite.

The candidate should have hands-on experience with air-sensitive molecular species, and ideally be familiar with the preparation of potassium graphite. He/she should have a background in molecular chemistry, polymer chemistry or materials science.

Job description here.

Post-doc position

October 21, 2022: Hybrid Materials International Conference

I was invited to give an overiew of the group recent works during this international conference held in Genoa, Italy. Excellent opportunity to discuss the descriptor approach in nanochemistry! Check the program.


July 25-29, 2022: Sol-gel International Conference

This conference was held in Lyon and gathered a broad community around sol-gel but also materials design, thin films and coatings etc. Léna presented her work on lanthanide oxysulfide thin film design while I was invited to give a broad overview of our recent works. Check the program.

With: Léna, Sophie


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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.


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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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