Université de Strasbourg

Christophe Michon & Cuong Pham-Huu

Biography - Christophe Michon

Laboratory of Molecular Innovation and Applications (LIMA), University of Strasbourg and CNRS, France

Christophe Michon, USIAS Fellow 2021

Christophe Michon graduated from the University of Strasbourg, where he obtained his PhD degree under the guidance of Dr. Jean-Pierre Djukic and Dr. Michel Pfeffer (2003) working on the reactivity of manganese metallacycles with diazoalkanes for the syntheses of organometallic helices and cymantren derivatives. He subsequently took up several post-doctoral research associate positions, in the USA at Iowa State University with Professor Robert J. Angelici (2003-2005), at the Kyoto Pharmaceutical University in Japan with Professor Motokazu Uemura (2005-2007) and at the University of Geneva in Switzerland with Professor Jérome Lacour (2007-2008). After occupying a lecturer/ATER position at the University of Lille, France (2008-2009), he was appointed at the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS) as research scientist (CR1) in October 2009. At that stage, he joined Dr. Francine Agbossou-Niedercorn’s team in the joint CNRS/University of Lille Catalysis and Molecular Chemistry Department (UCCS), where he obtained the accreditation to lead research (Habilitation à diriger des recherches) in 2014.

Since 2020, Dr. Christophe Michon has been working as a researcher at LIMA - a joint laboratory of the University of Strasbourg, the University of Upper Alsace (UHA) and the CNRS - in the team for Applied Organometallic Chemistry. Since 2017, he has been a member of the France-India collaborative project LIA MATSUCAT: Functionalized MATerials for SUstainable CATalytic and Related Applications (until 2021), as well as of the national CNRS research group “Phosphorus”. He has also been a leader of a CNRS project EMERGENCE@INC 2018, and of a project with ADISSEO France SAS (2018-2019). He is author of 52 research articles in peer-reviewed journals, 1 book chapter, 31 poster communications, 10 invited seminars and 38 oral communications.

Dr. Michon’s theoretical and experimental interests lie in the field of organometallic and organic chemistry for applications in homogeneous or heterogeneous catalysis, most particularly for the development of racemic and asymmetric hydrofunctionalisation reactions.

Biography - Cuong Pham-Huu

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

Cuong Pham-Huu, USIAS Fellow 2021Cuong Pham-Huu obtained his PhD in catalytic processes and materials in 1991 at the Louis Pasteur University (now University of Strasbourg). He continued working in the field of heterogeneous catalysis during his post-doctoral position at the Research Centre of Voreppe (Pechiney, France). As of 1992, he joined the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS) at the Laboratory of Chemistry and Materials for Catalysis as scientific staff member. At present, he is research director at the CNRS and scientific member of the Institute of Chemistry and Processes for Energy, Environment and Health (ICPEES) of the CNRS and the University of Strasbourg.

His research fields focus on the synthesis of 1D and 2D carbon-based materials and silicon carbide, along with hierarchical composites for use in the fields of energy and environment. Target applications for these materials include innovative selective oxidation of trace amounts of H2S, dehydrogenation and hydrogenation reactions, synthetic fuel synthesis, environmental protection and sustainable energy production and storage (supercapacitors (electrochemical storage), CO2 methanation into synthetic natural gas (chemical storage)). He has given more than 40 plenary/keynote/invited talks in international conferences and has taken part in numerous industrial collaborations with different French and international companies. He has (co-)authored over 300 peer-reviewed scientific publications and about 50 international patents.

Dr. Pham-Huu is also acting as co-principal investigator for the TRAINER (CaTalysts foR TrAnsItion to ReNewable Energy FutuRe) project with Dr. Giuliano Giambastiani of the Institute of Chemistry of OrganoMetallic Compounds (ICCOM-CNR, Florence, Italy) within the call Make Our Planet Great Again granted by the French Presidency.

Project - Stabilization of nickel nanoparticles with olefinic N-heterocyclic carbene ligands for catalytic applications in hydrogenation and reductive amination using induction heating

01/10/2021 - 31/12/2023

A catalyst is a substance based on a metal and/or organic functions that enables a chemical reaction to proceed without the catalyst being consumed or altered in the process. Metal nanoparticles are particularly important in the catalysis of organic reactions due to their large exposure surface area and the unique metal-metal interactions within their core. The major challenge in the application of metal nanoparticles in catalysis is their stability under reaction, as low stabilisation leads to agglomeration which ultimately results in a loss of catalytic activity. In addition, the recovery and reuse of metal nanoparticles are now essential for the development of sustainable catalytic processes.

Therefore, the stabilization of nanoparticles has been studied through different strategies, like the use of surfactants and micellar catalysis, the use of various supports (with different metal-support interactions) and through the coordination of organic ligands. Although the latter strategy was achieved using ligands like thiols, amines, cyanides, disulfides, thioethers or phosphines, N-heterocyclic carbenes (NHC) ligands, which are now privileged ligands in organometallic chemistry and homogeneous catalysis, have recently been established as new stabilization agents for metal nanoparticles. Several recent studies have demonstrated the versatility of NHC in stabilizing and structuring nanoparticles of precious metals like ruthenium, rhodium or palladium for significant applications in the catalysis of organic reactions such as hydrogenations, oxidations and aminations. However, NHC ligands have been applied much less to the stabilization of nanoparticles of Earth-abundant first row transition metals, whose study has become a priority in catalysis because of economic, environmental and societal reasons.

This project aims to develop new sustainable nanocatalysts, based on nickel nanoparticles (NPs) coordinated to bi- or tridentate ligands comprising a strong donating NHC fragment, and one or two appended olefin moieties. With or without the use of an additional carbon support, such a strategy is expected to generate stabilized NPs of defined sizes and with unique reactivity for organic reactions. The resulting species will catalyse the semi-hydrogenation of alkynes and the reductive amination of carbonyl derivatives. A non-contact electromagnetic inductive heating will be applied to the nanoparticles synthesis and the catalysis studies in order to overcome energy losses and transfer limitations by heating exclusively the nickel species through the carbon acting as support and heat-transfer agent. Finally, the spent catalysts will be recovered and reused thanks to their magnetic properties (magnetic recovery) or through filtration thanks to their supported shape.

Post-doc biography - Marta García-Avello Méndez

Laboratory of Molecular Innovation and Applications (LIMA), University of Strasbourg and CNRS, France

Marta García-Avello Méndez

Marta García-Avello Méndez obtained a Bachelor´s degree in chemical sciences from the University of Oviedo (Spain). During her last course, an Erasmus Scholarship took her to the University of Vienna in Austria, where she discovered a passion for organometallic synthetic chemistry. After that, she returned to the University of Oviedo, where she obtained a Master´s degree in chemistry and sustainable development, focusing mainly on inorganic and organometallic chemistry. During her Master’s thesis she worked on the synthesis and study of antitumoral activity of new Ru(II) Complexes.

In 2015, she was awarded a scholarship from the Spanish Government (FPI) to complete her PhD and joined the Bioorganometallic Chemistry Group at the Complutense University of Madrid (UCM)/CSIC, led by Professor Miguel Ángel Sierra. In October 2019, she obtained her PhD in organic chemistry from UCM. During her PhD, which focused on the “Study of Chirality Transfer in organometallic systems”, she worked with 1,2,3-triazolylidenes containing one, two or three chirality elements in their structure. After that, she stayed in the same group as a post-doc student and worked on the synthesis and study of new metalo-antibiotics based in β- lactams containing NHC ligands, before moving to the University of Strasbourg in October 2021.


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