Metals and ceramics have been synthesized since prehistoric ages and now constitute the basis of modern electronics, optics and green energy applications.
However, structural diversity of these solid-state materials is much limited compared to organic molecules which e.g. our bodies are comprised of.
We aim at breaking such barriers in chemical space of chalcogenides through low-temperature & stepwise syntheses, advanced characterisation of complex nanostructures and new theoretical frameworks.
23/05/2023 Design of the exotic intergrowth structures taking advantage of anionic redox topochemistry, a part of Shunsuke’s postdoc project in Oxford, is now published in Nature Communications ! Please check it out.
01/05/2023 A study done by our former PhD student Louis about orientational disorder of sulfur dimers in solids is now published in Inorganic Chemistry !
12/04/2023 Our collaborative project with Prof. Miura (Hokkaido Univ. Japan) is selected for PHC SAKURA program. We will work on the machanisms of anion-redox topochemistry.
01/04/2023 The website is created.
Functionalities of materials arise from their structures, and thereby it is an ultimate dream for chemists to manipulate arrangements of the constituent atoms precisely as desired. Thousands of different enzymes in our body can cut or connect specifically targeted chemical bonds, and so do the modern genome-editing technology and coupling reactions in organic chemistry, enabling tailor-made design of complex molecular structures with superior functionalities. Then, how about inorganic solid-state materials? Is such a chemical bond editing possible for minerals, ceramics and metals without destructing their overall crystal structures? We have recently proposed to make use of redox-active chalcogen-chalcogen bonds in solids for constructing 2D layers or for triggering deintercalation of bulky chalcogen anions. This discovery made us embark in exploration of new functional materials utilizing this new toolbox for chemical bond editing – i.e. cutting & connecting only targeted anionic covalent bonds without altering other moieties.
A major advantage of employing novel synthetic concepts such as chemical bond editing is that they may enable us to explore new metastable, compositionally and/or structurally exotic compounds beyond known chemical spaces. These exotic compounds may exhibit reactivity very different from conventional ones, and easily get broken into their stable variants. Furthermore, stepwise structure transformations (often coined as topochemistry) involving bond cleavage or formation between bulky anions often bring about challenges in characterisations such as severe (stacking) disorders, heterogeneity of compositions and nano-sized crystallites. To explore new materials in such a challenging frontier, our efforts to control the new topochemical reactions go hand-in-hand with uses of e.g. cutting-edge synthetic methodologies, (nano) crystallography, local probe analyses, computational structure predictions and in-depth mechanistic studies.
We are a collective of researchers and engineers based in French national research lab Institut des Matériaux de Nantes Jean Rouxel (IMN, UMR 6502). Around 10 years ago, IMN set up the transversal axis that gathered researchers from the different groups across the institute in order to pursue exploration of novel chalcogenide materials. Unlike conventional research groups, this transversal axis defines neither fixed memberships nor clear hierarchies among participants. Instead, we team up in an agile manner for specific tasks, projects or common interests.
The axis consists of personnel with diverse expertise spanning from inrorganic & organic syntheses, crystallography, computational chemistry to condensed matter physics and device applications. Our principle is to treat each of us equally as being independent and autonomous so that we can reach farthest chemical spaces through creative and inspirational collaborations.
Are you a master or PhD student passionate about solid-state chemistry, crystallography, condensed matter physics or design of functional materials? We are looking for young enthusiasts who can work together with us to push forward one of the most challenging frontiers in solid-state chemistry, through developing new synthetic methodologies, learning cutting-edge characterisation tools and unlocking theories behind observations.
Though nothing is fixed yet, we may have a chance to recruit a PhD student in the fall 2024 as well as a master internship at some point between late 2023 to early 2024. We are also available for helping you to prepare applications to some external fellowships such as MSCA Postdoctoral fellowships and those available in France or in your home country.
Please do not hesitate to contact us now, because the earlier you start preparations, the more opportunities will be available!