June 8: Nanostructured materials for catalysis

Jun 08, 2022
  • 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
  • Location:
    Chemistry D300
    2036 Main Mall
    Vancouver, BC

    Registration is not required.

Join Prof. Chloe Thieuleux, visiting scholar in the French Scholar Lecture Series, for a seminar on innovative nanostructured materials for catalysis used in industrial applications and research.

Prof. Thieuleux is Research Director of the Laboratory of Chemistry, Catalysis, Polymers and Processes (C2P2). This CNRS laboratory in Lyon, France, is world-renown for its infrastructure and expertise in surface organometallic chemistry. Dr. Thieuleux is an expert in catalysis, materials science and surface science. She oversees research programs in fundamental chemistry and also works at the interface of industrial catalysis, biomedical materials chemistry and process chemistry. Dr. Thieuleux will be hosted by Dr. Laurel Schafer in the Department of Chemistry at UBC.


Performances of catalysts and more generally of functional materials is mainly controlled by our ability to generate specific sites/objects (e.g. organometallic complexes, nanoparticles, uniform thin films…) onto supports (powders or flat surfaces). In this context, we have developed a rational approach to yield functional materials containing well-defined surface-species.

Two main areas of research will be presented here. First, we have developed synthetic methods allowing the preparation of well-defined functional materials containing either organic fragments, heterobimetallic complexes, or highly active metallo-N-heterocyclic carbene complexes (M-NHC). The materials were fully characterized using several techniques and particularly by advanced solid-state NMR using Dynamic Nuclear Polarization which allowed us to have a molecular description of surface species. Of the different materials, solids containing TEMPO radicals for MRI applications and M-NHC (M = Ru and Ir) based catalysts will be presented. The M-NHC catalysts exhibit enhanced catalytic compared to those of homogeneous homologues in solution. These remarkable performances were attributed to surface site isolation which suppresses bimolecular deactivation processes and to beneficial interactions between the silica surface and the M-NHC centres.

Second, we investigated the controlled grafting of late transition organometallic complexes onto silica powders to yield very small and calibrated metallic NPs and compared this methodology to solution protocols to prepare metallic NPs in solution. Applications in hydrosilylation of olefins will be detailed.