Université de Strasbourg

Stéphane Baudron & Benoît Louis

Biography - Stéphane Baudron

Complex Matter Chemistry (CMC), University of Strasbourg & CNRS

Stéphane Baudron, USIAS Fellow 2019

After graduating from the National Chemical Engineering Institute in Paris (ENSCP) in 1998, Stéphane Baudron obtained his PhD degree in 2002 from the University of Angers, France, under the supervision of Dr. Patrick Batail, working on conducting hybrid organic-inorganic materials. He was then awarded a Lavoisier Fellowship from the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs for a post-doctoral stay in the group of Professor Jeffrey Long at UC Berkeley, USA, focusing on molecular magnetism. In 2004, he was appointed as research scientist (Chargé de recherche) within the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS) in the group of Professor Mir Wais Hosseini in Strasbourg. His research programme focused on the use of bis-pyrrolic ligands for the elaboration of heterometallic metal-organic frameworks.

In 2009, Stéphane Baudron obtained his habilitation from the University of Strasbourg and received, in 2011, a fellowship from the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) for a research stay in the group of Professor Susumu Kitagawa in Kyoto, Japan. In 2019, he was promoted to the position of CNRS senior scientist (directeur de recherche).

His interests are in coordination and supramolecular chemistry, in particular the self-assembly of metal complexes for the preparation of emissive or conducting materials, and in the development of new reaction media for the preparation of these systems.

Biography - Benoît Louis

Institute of Chemistry and Processes for Energy, Environment and Health (ICPEES), University of Strasbourg & CNRS

Benoît Louis, USIAS Fellow 2019

Benoît Louis graduated from the University of Strasbourg (1998) and completed his PhD at the Swiss École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL, 2002). He is currently at senior scientist (directeur de recherche) level within the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS), working at the Institute of Chemical and Processes for Energy, Environment and Health (ICPEES).

For the last two decades, Benoît Louis’ main challenge has been to design zeolites – crystals with a microporous structure - mainly for acid-catalysed reactions. The originality of his research relies on the combination of molecular and microscopic design of microporous solids along with a suitable macro-scale (shaping, coating) for use in industrial reactors.

The two main highlights of his studies are the development of a new technique to determine the Brønsted acidity of solid acids using H/D isotope labeling and the synthesis of a zeolite catalyst able to convert methanol into propylene at high yield and outstanding stability. This catalyst is currently at the scale-up stage within the framework of an industrial maturation project (SATT Conectus Alsace).

His current research interests encompass heterogeneous catalysis, zeolites and porous materials, biomass valorisation, alkane activation chemistry, CO2 capture and conversion and more generally C1 chemistry.

Dr. Louis has co-authored 130 peer-reviewed papers, four book chapters and three patents. He was also guest Professor at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (2013-2018) in Brazil and at the Beijing Forestry University in China (2017-2018). He has received a number of prizes and awards, including the CNRS Bronze medal in 2009, the Catalysis Division Prize from the French Chemical Society (SCF) in 2013, becoming in the same year the first laureate of the Young Scientist Award in Acid-Base Catalysis (Tokyo, Japan), and the Guy Ourisson Prize of the University of Strasbourg, in 2015.

Project - Natural deep eutectic solvents for the preparation of chiral and catalytically active metal-organic frameworks (NaDesCatMOF)

01/11/2019 - 30/11/2021

Chirality is a central property in many different branches of science such as mathematics, biology, physics and chemistry. For example, enantiomeric molecules (chiral molecules that are mirror images of one another) can feature strikingly different biological or pharmaceutical activities, making their preparation in pure form an important issue. In nature, enzymes are able to readily perform reactions in an enantioselective fashion, while chemists have devised a wide range of asymmetric catalysts working under either homo- or heterogeneous conditions. In particular, chiral Metal-Organic Frameworks (MOFs), porous materials obtained from the assembly of metal nodes with organic bridging ligands, have been widely investigated for these purposes over the past few years. The main approach followed in the literature to promote homochirality in MOFs is the use of homochiral starting compounds, either the metallic nodes or, more commonly, the ligands. While this strategy has demonstrated its applicability, it involves first the tedious and often costly preparation of enantiopure organic molecules, followed by the preparation of the MOFs themselves and, finally, their in-depth characterisation, which amounts to a rather time-consuming process. It would thus be appealing, as an alternative path, to conduct the formation of chiral MOFs from achiral building blocks during the crystallisation process. While this process is known to sometimes occur, the issue is that conglomerates - mixtures of crystals with opposite handedness - are often formed. One possible way to avoid the formation of conglomerates relies on the use of a chiral environment or templating agent, such as the solvent used for the synthesis or the presence of an enantiopure additive, leading to a spontaneous resolution.

The goal of the NaDesCatMOF project is to address this issue by investigating the possibility to use an emerging class of green reaction media, which can be obtained from cheap and abundant natural compounds readily accessible in enantiopure form, for chiral induction during the crystallisation process of MOFs. The reactivity of these materials as catalysts for enantioselective transformations will then be investigated.

Links

Investissements d'Avenir