ESR9 Project

Biphasic catalysis with metal nanoparticles inside polymeric nanoreactors

Diploma-delivering institutions: DTU, UPS
Thesis co-directors: Anders Riisager (DTU, Lingby, DK), Eric Manoury and Karine Philippot (LCC, Toulouse, FR)
Secondment host: IFP Energies Nouvelles (FR)


Develop an innovative catalytic tool based on well-defined metal nanoparticles (NPs)[1] confined inside core-shell polymeric nanoreactors [2]. Internal anchoring groups (carboxylates in the shell, various phosphines, amines, etc. in the core) are expected to improve the selective introduction of organometallic precursors and to control both the growth and localisation of the NPs. Higher activity and selectivity can result from the confinement of the particles inside the nanoreactors that will protect them.


[1] (a) C. Amiens, D. Ciuculescu-Pradines, K. Philippot, Coord. Chem. Rev., 2016, 38, 409-432. (b) T. Ayvali, K. Philippot, in New Materials for Catalytic Applications, E. Kemnitz and V. Parvulescu (Eds.), Elsevier, 2016, Chapter 3, 41-79.
[2] (a) Zhang, X., Cardozo, A. F., Chen, S., Zhang, W., Julcour, C., Lansalot, M., Blanco, J.-F., Gayet, F., Delmas, H., Charleux, B.,  Manoury, E.,  D’Agosto, F., Poli, R., Chem. Eur. J., 2014, 20, 15505-15517. (b) Lobry, E., Cardozo, A. F., Barthe, L., Blanco, J.-F., Delmas, H., Chen, S., Gayet, Zhang, W., Lansalot, M., D’Agosto, F., Poli, R., Manoury, E, Julcour, C, J. Catal., 2016, 342, 164–172.

Expected Results

Combine the advantages of the aqueous biphasic protocol for easy catalyst recovery and recycling and the specific catalytic performance of metal nanoparticles. Site confinement of different catalysts for one-pot tandem applications. Main reactions of interest: aromatic hydrogenation, hydroformylation, Suzuki coupling, etc. with constant activity for at least 5 recycles and leaching < 1 ppm per cycle.

Chantal Abou Fayssal

Chantal Abou Fayssal

PhD Student - ESR9

My name is Chantal ABOU FAYSSAL, I am from Lebanon. I am graduated from the Faculty of Science of the Lebanese University with a Master’s degree in Organic Molecular Chemistry. During my Master’s 2 degree I moved to France to do my internship within the STeReO team at “Institut des Sciences Moléculaire de Marseille” in collaboration with the Lebanese University.

I am very interested in coordination chemistry, catalysis and sustainable chemistry, and I rely on the idea that sustainable catalysis is a prosperous topic in Chemistry, that will help the synthetic chemistry improve and protect the environment by reducing the chemical wastes, that’s why I will work during my PhD on the topic of “Biphasic catalysis with metal nanoparticles inside polymeric nanoreactors” in order to enhance the catalytic activity, selectivity, stability and durability of metals nanoparticles, and the catalyst recovery and recycling, a subject that suits my aspirations.

My PhD will be done between the Technical University of Denmark (DTU) and the “Laboratoire de Chimie de Coordination (LCC)” in Toulouse, France.