Nanoconfined Materials

This research axis is interested in the non-conventional structural, dynamical and cooperative properties of complex molecular systems (aperiodic crystals, multicomponent fluids, liquid-crystals) induced by a highly anisotropy spatial restriction at the nanoscale.

This area of research focuses on understanding how confinement at the nanometric scale profoundly modifies the phase diagram, molecular dynamics, flow conditions and self-assembly of fluids with a degree of complexity that is relevant to rapidly expanding application sectors such as nanofluidics, molecular electronics, biotechnologies and nanomaterials. These fundamental questions are one of the scientific obstacles to the manipulation of infinitesimal volumes of fluids in active devices that we expect to see in the future.
Building on the expertise acquired by the team in the study of low molecular weight vitrifiable liquids, we have previously extended our activities in the direction of so-called 'complex' fluids, such as liquid crystals and bioprotective solutions. We are now initiating two new projects in the field of molecular electronics and nanostructuring of multicomponent fluids.
We are also actively collaborating on projects to understand the microscopic mechanisms controlling the nanostructuring of nanoconfined electrolyte and gas solutions, and to develop original numerical-theoretical tools to better understand interfacial processes.


Semiconductor columnar phase nanofibres.

The aim is to explore the potential of nanoconfined columnar discotic liquid crystals (DCLC) for future applications in organic electronics. The inclusion of discotic liquid crystals in a highly one-dimensional nanopore network promotes their columnar organisation and will ultimately enable the synthesis of new hybrid active nanostructures. The strategy for obtaining organic nanowires is based on so-called 'template' methods, which have been successfully developed for the synthesis of polymeric, inorganic, semiconducting or metallic nanofibres. However, the lack of upstream research into the effects of confinement on the physical properties of DCLCs is the main scientific barrier to such technological developments. To develop this emerging area of research, we are coordinating a consortium of 6 Franco-German partners funded by an international white ANR-DFG (Rennes, Bordeaux, Saclay, Grenoble, Saarbrücken and Berlin).

Nanostructuring of multicomponent fluids

The balance between hydrophobic and hydrogen bond interactions is a key factor at the heart of many self-organisation phenomena in the liquid state. It controls the supramolecular self-assembly of a variety of systems, from simple aqueous solutions to proteins, and gives rise to behaviours that are radically different under confinement from those observed in volume.
This project will explore the conditions for the formation of nano-segregated domains in multi-constituent fluids at interfaces and in confined environments. These fundamental studies will ultimately enable the spontaneous nanostructuring of complex mixtures to be controlled, as is currently the case in microfluidics. If this is the case, this field could open up prospects for the synthesis of nano-objects using approaches inspired by template chemistry techniques. This project is based in particular on a partnership with IMN in Nantes, the Institut Laue-Langevin, CEA-Saclay and the University of Tohoku.



  • IMRAM (Sendai, Japon), BAM (Berlin), Université de Saarbrücken, Université de Hambourg
  • CRPP (Bordeaux), IMN (Nantes)
  • Institut Laue-Langevin, Laboratoire Léon Brillouin
  • Institut de Chimie de Clermont-Ferrand (LTIM)
  • Institut de Sciences Chimiques de Rennes (CIP)
  • Institut Gerhardt, Montpellier (DAMP)