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

Oct 7: PhD Defense of Rémi André

Rémi defended today his PhD thesis, titled "Tailored routes to metal-containing nanoparticles for hydrogenation reactions in solution: surface design for H2 activation", in front of an enthousiastic jury and audience.



Sept 29: European Conference on Green and Sustainable Chemistry

Rémi presented online his recent work on metal carbide nanoparticles at this international conference broadly interested in a more sustainable world.

With: Rémi


Sept 24: Journées de Chimie de Coordination

Antoine had the chance to present in person his work on copper nanoparticles stabilized by NHCs at the national Journées de Chimie de Coordination.

With: Antoine


Sept 23: GECAT invited webinar

In relation with the Young Researcher Award from the Catalysis division of the French Chemical Society, I was invited to present our latest results at the "Jeudis du GECAT", a national webinar series that appeared in 2020 and is very successful amongst colleagues. This was a great exchange with the broad catalysis community, thanks all for your feedbacks.


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

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Featured Results

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.


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.


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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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