CE06 - Polymères, composites, physique et chimie de la matière molle

Optical Engineering of Chemo-responsive Multiplex Materials – OptiMat

Submission summary

The main research interests of this project are situated at the interface of organic, polymer chemistry and photochemistry and focus on a wide range of polymer-related research fields, such as the design of macromolecular architectures with highly-defined functionality and composition, with a strong focus on advanced light-induced methodologies and fundamental investigations into polymerization and surface functionalization mechanisms and kinetics. To reach these objectives, our approach is based on the two-photon assisted fabrication of 3D polymer materials and their two-photon assisted post-functionalization with molecular luminescent probes. The primary purposes of the project concern: a) the rational design of cross-linked photopolymers with accessible and clickable surface groups, by using spatially localized 2-photon direct laser writing; b) the design and grafting of fluorescent probes at the surface of these microstructures, using 2-photon photoclick processes, so that their optical properties, sensitivity and selectivity will be transposed to the materials; c) optimizing the surface-to-volume ratio of the structures to favor probe-analyte interactions and amplify the detection signal, leading to efficient luminescent sensing sub-micromaterials.

Scientifically, the design and fabrication of sub-microscale surface-functional synthetic objects is a challenge: how much complexity can be implemented at such a small scale?

One prerequisite is spatial resolution. Two-photon assisted polymerization offers means for achieving this goal with a high spatial resolution and 3-dimensional localization. Some of us demonstrated the potential of two-photon induced fabrication of intricate and periodic structures, at the micrometer scale. In the frame of this project, fractal inspired layouts will be investigated to enhance the specific surface/volume ratio of the materials and optimize the accessibility of latent acrylate groups for a rapid and facile surface functionalization.

A second concern is surface functionalization. The advantages of photo-click chemistry will be combined with the high spatial resolution of laser light two-photon excitation. Fluorescent sensors will serve as proof-of-concept models. Applying iterative site-by-site post-functionalization will allow us to progressively construct the functionality/mapping relationship leading to a new generation of integrated multisensors: the surface functionalization of 3D sub-micro-sized materials will thus be used to push one more step ahead the developments of multiplex sensors. The sensing properties of the final materials will be insured by taking benefit of the fluorescence of pyrazoline units.

The originality of this project overtakes the simple limits of the challenging design of chemo-responsive 3D materials through aspects such as a) the control of spatial localization of functions at the surface of photo-polymerized objects; b) the nano-structuration of these objects for optimizing the interactions at the interface; c) multiplexing for detection and identification of complex analytes. Significant achievement is anticipated to address synthetic and technological aspects linked to the optimization of 2-photon polymerization procedures toward activatable platforms; the implementation of photo-click reactions for their spatially located functionalization; molecular recognition and photophysical studies on photo-induced electron processes; solid-state emission to get information on the material structure, aggregation, quenching and sensitization processes.

Additional to these basic contributions, this project may contribute to broader societal objectives, through advances in areas such as sensing for air quality, water quality, detection of volatile organic compounds, sensing for defence and security, food technology...

Project coordination


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.


IS2M Institut de Sciences des Matériaux de Mulhouse (IS2M) - UMR 7361

Help of the ANR 358,482 euros
Beginning and duration of the scientific project: January 2020 - 48 Months

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