Welcome to where science resonates!

Materials can be constructed from nanosized building blocks. The properties of such materials then depend on the chemical composition, the morphology, the crystallinity and the spatial organization of these components. We study how properties (e.g. resonance) depend on these characteristics, particularly for application in optics.


March 1, 2021. Welcome to Alexander Castro-Grijalba, a new post-doc in the team. The new ERC team is starting to grow and I am so looking forward to working with such talented researchers.

Feb 8, 2021. Congratulations to Maria Letizia De Marco on publishing her work on silicon-based core-shell particles. She found that by surrounding a silicon core with a lower index oxide layer, she could independently tune the electric and magnetic fields. It’s a beautiful paper, excellent work Maria!Figure Maria

Jan 1, 2021. I am happy to announce the beginning of 5 exciting years for us in silicon synthesis: the ERC has funded my project Scatter!Logos                                                                                                                                                                         Sept 15, 2020. The SCF made a great video about our group, please check it out! Mona Tréguer organized the students and determined which material would appear in the film.

Sept 4, 2020. I  have received funding from the ERC for my project Scatter, based on the synthesis of optically resonant silicon particles. Super excited to get to work!

July 3, 2020. Laura Ellezam presented a beautiful body of work at Collège de France, combining synthesis of doped ruthenium oxide clusters, PDF measurements and DFT modelling to determine their local structure. I was very impressed and honored to participate in her big day.

photo soutenance

May 18, 2020. We’re back in the lab after 2 months of absence! We moved space to spread out the researchers across the lab, look at these shining new monkey bars in a brand new fume cupboard!

18 May 2020

May 11, 2020. Antoine Mazel and I are writing a patent “Solution synthesis of silicon particles via coordination complex decomposition”. Together we have developed a fantastic new method to produce silicon particles in solution that will open the way for future research in controlling silicon particle morphology, and creating hybrid materials, such as gold@silicon nanostructures. We will tell you all about it in an upcoming publication!

April 23, 2020. Adèle Hilico has received funding to study our silicon particles in optical tweezers to fully characterize the optical properties of single particles. Well done Adèle!

April 20, 2020. Paul Danty and Antoine Mazel’s work on metal-induced crystallization of titania under microwave radiation has been accepted for publication by Inorganic Chemistry.


March 11, 2020. A project in collaboration with Kevin Vynck was funded today. It is a Mission pour les initiatives transverses et interdisciplinaires, funded by the CNRS, entitled “Synthèse et caractérisation de matériaux nanostructurés produisant des effets visuels inédits” or in English “Synthesis and characterization of nanostructured materials producing unprecedented visual effects”.

February 9-13, 2020. I am on my way to ICONN in Brisbane. Looking forward to meeting up with Australian colleagues!

February 3, 2020. Jie’s article is published! It looks great in press!

TOC oriented helices

January 10, 2020. Adrian Hereu, a first year PhD student in the group, has been accepted into the Laphia Light network. Congratulations Adrian!

January 7, 2020. The long awaited glove box is now in service! Meet Bertha.


December 9, 2019. Maria De Marco defended beautifully her thesis. It was a real pleasure to see her hard work and progress so well received. She even received a post-doc offer at the end of the day!

Maria De Marco graduation

October 27-November 1, 2019. I spent the week at Pacrim13, presenting Benoit, Paul and Antoine’s work on the titania crystallization at low temperatures. I was very pleased with how this work was perceived, and for the time with all of the colleagues in Okinawa20191030_212717.jpg

August 5-9, 2019. I’m attending Telluride 2019 in the Blue Mountains, Australia. What a great opportunity to discuss with some fabulous material scientists. I particularly enjoyed discussing with Brian Korgel, Dale Huber and Jim Watkins. Super exciting stuff is on the horizon! Thanks Lucy Gloag and Richard Tilley for organizing.Telluride 2019

July 23-26, 2019. Many of us from the Meta team have gone to Lisbon to participate in Meta 2019. What great talks this year!

July 15, 2019. We’re looking for a new teammate, if you’re looking to do a thesis in nanoparticle synthesis, assembly and optical properties measurements, please contact me.

April 24, 2019. We just submitted a patent entitled “Procédé de séparation d’ions métalliques”, good work Benoît Cormary and Maria Letizia De Marco!

Mar 11-15, 2019. What a fantastic week at the Hybrid Materials conference in Sitges! The highlight was having the opportunity to spend time with Clément Sanchez, marking his 70th birthday. I’m so impressed with all he’s built during his career, what an inspiration to all of us working in inorganic and hybrid materials.


Mar 1, 2019. Sanaa, Benoit and Maria’s hard work examining solvent effects on silicon nanoparticle size is now published online. Nice one guys!


Jan 28-Feb 8, 2019. Jon Veinot and Alyx Aarbo welcome Antoine Mazel to teach him surface functionalization techniques. Thanks for being great hosts! This budding collaboration has been a lot of fun already and we’re just getting started!


Jan 21, 2019.  Welcome to the group Benoit Miller! Benoit will be working on particle assembly using convective evaporation.

Jan 9-11, 2019. Cyril Aymonier and I have come to Austin Texas to launch Maria DeMarco’s 6 week stay in Brian Korgel‘s labs. We’re so impressed with the research that is going on here and really excited for Maria. Today we’ll be giving seminars at University of Texas: “Convective assembly of spheres and nanohelices” and “Supercritical solvothermal synthesis of advanced nanostructured materials.” Thanks for such a warm southern welcome and some great meals together with the Korgel group!

univ texas

Jan 10, 2019. Our review on nanocellulose in Chemical Reviews is now online. Nanocellulose isolation, surface modification, properties, integration into materials and applications are all discussed.figures.jpg

Jan 7, 2019. Welcome to the group Antoine Mazel, a new post doc, and Nahyun Jeong and Paul Danty, 1 year masters interns! Antoine will be working on designing new silicon precursors for nanoparticle synthesis. Nahyun will be working on decorating patterned substrates with gold particles. Paul Danty will be working on a low temperature method to crystallize titania.

Nov 19-23, 2018. We just spent an excellent week at Matériaux 2018! Lots of great talks and reconnections.

Matériaux 2018 Strasbourg

Nov 16, 2018. Today I had a great visit with Bertrand Donnio at the IPCMS in Strasbourg and gave a departmental seminar “Dielectric optical metamaterials: are they achievable through bottom-up chemistry?”

Nov 15, 2018. Welcome to the group to Laurent Lermusiaux! Laurent is a post doc who will be working on assembling plasmonic-dielectric nanoresonators to make optically active metamaterials.