DS0305 - Nanomatériaux et nanotechnologies pour les produits du futur

Nanoscale Electrochemistry and Optics for Chemical Activity Screening and Tracking of Individual Particles – NEOCASTIP

Submission summary

Nanoobjects are commonly used in various processes because they provide remarkable properties that depend both on their chemical structure and on their size. Many techniques allow the evaluation of the properties of ensembles of nanoobjects, but it is of paramount importance for numerous applications to detect and study the chemical behavior of individual nanoobjects. This little explored field of nanotechnologies requires the development of new analytical strategies based on the in situ detection of stochastic phenomena that describe the physical-chemical properties of individual nanoobjects. This should lead to applications and industrial developments in fields ranging from chemistry to optics with a strong impact on environment, energy or life sciences.
The understanding of stochastic processes is more than a fundamental issue regarding the ultimate description of a chemical elementary step, it is also a requirement for the miniaturization of measurements devices. Typically, microelectrodes have the required sensitivity to reveal discrete electrochemical impacts of nanoparticles (NPs). Albeit promising, such an electrochemical measurement only gives a partial description if it is not associated to an orthogonal microscopic observation. Optical superlocalization has deeply modified the optical techniques for microscopy (Chemistry Nobel Prize in 2014). After the first developments for the detection of fluorescent objects, some groups are beginning to extend it to the 2D or 3D detection of unlabelled objects. Nevertheless, localization alone does not give insights into chemical information.
NEOCASTIP proposes an analytical breakthrough to detect discrete chemical events from individual nanodomains by combining (i) a sensitive and accurate (<10nm) optical localization of nanoobjects to (ii) an accurate electrochemical characterization/actuation of individual physical-chemical events. The aim is to give a comprehensive picture of reactions/interactions of individual nanodomains (or NPs) with an interface. Besides optics and analytical chemistry, electrochemistry is in the core of NEOCASTIP since it allows triggering physical-chemical processes and therefore reading the whole chemical reactivity of NPs. This is a simple method that can be easily transposed to any kind of chemical actuation.
NEOCASTIP proposes to design and develop innovative physical-chemical instrumentations, among which one to be commercialized in partnership with the WatchLive startup. They will allow unlocking different scientific and technical bolts: (i) the dynamic imaging of individual chemical events in operando with unprecedented sensitivity and accuracy (<10nm) and (ii) the study of metallic or dielectric nanoobjects (fluorescently-tagged or not).
The performances of this approach will be tested through ambitious studies illustrating the breadth of its fields of application (electrochemistry, sensors), particularly via the dynamic 3D monitoring of (i) electrochemical transformations (dissolution, phase transitions or electrocatalysis) of individual metallic or metal oxide NPs or nanogels, immobilized on or impacting an electrode, (ii) ionic double layers on nanodomains or electrode defects, (iii) collective (electro)chemical behaviours (cross-talk).
The follow-up of (electro)chemical transformation of individual nanoobjects is, in itself, an ambitious paradigm shift for chemistry and optics. NEOCASTIP also opens perspectives towards new strategies for (i) the visualization of reactive nanoobjects in microfluidics, and (ii) functionnalization paths to control the chemical reactivity of nanoobjects. The proposed consortium associates the skills of physicists and physical chemists with recognized expertises in optical imaging, nanoelectrochemistry, physical chemistry of interfaces, while maintaining a constant intertwining of experimental and modeling considerations.

Project coordination

Frédéric Kanoufi (Laboratoire Interfaces, Traitement, Organisation et DYnamique des Systèmes)

The author of this summary is the project coordinator, who is responsible for the content of this summary. The ANR declines any responsibility as for its contents.


ISM Institut des Sciences Moléculaires
HOLO UMR 8250 Neurophotonique / Université Paris Descartes
PMHB Institut des Matériaux et Molécules du Mans
ITODYS Laboratoire Interfaces, Traitement, Organisation et DYnamique des Systèmes

Help of the ANR 430,976 euros
Beginning and duration of the scientific project: November 2015 - 42 Months

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