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 17. Cynthia won the poster prize at C’Nano in Poitier for her work on silicon formation from HSQ.

March 8. Celebrating international women’s day with the collection of Women in Nanoscience!


Nov. 16-17. Julien Castets, Adrian Hereu, Mona Tréguer-Delapierre and I attended NanoApp 2022 in Lyon. This small colloque, focused on the appearance of surfaces, was a fabulous opportunity for us to discuss the metasurfaces that we have been and would like to produce. Moreover, Julien got the presentation prize! Contrats Julien!



Oct. 19-22. HYMA 2022 was hosted in Genoa, with great talks and discussions. I got to present our work on metasurfaces to control visual appearance. I also had a fruitful brainstorming session with Stéphane Parola, Mateusz Odziomek and Antonio Carone on how to control disorder. Looking forward to the next HYMA in Montpellier!

Hyma 2022

Sept. 26-29. Julien, Emmanuel and I attended the C’Nano Meeting on Nanoscience Advances in Porquerolles. It was a wonderful week of exchange and a great experience for Julien and Emmanuel to present their work at the poster session.

Porquerolles meeting

Sept. 7, 2022. Lucien presented the Scatter project to visitors to our lab from the CNRS, INP and University of Bordeaux. The feedback was very positive!

Sept. 5-7, 2022. Cynthia and I are back in Lyon working with Lucian Roiban on imaging the degradation of HSQ into silicon particles in the environmental TEM. Lucian always gets such amazing data! Crazy to watch these nanoparticles forming.METSA LYON 2

Sept. 1, 2022. Welcome to 2 new PhD students, Julien Castets and Emmanuel Idowu! After excellent internships in the group, I am so happy that they are staying on for another 3 years.

August 10-11, 2022. Lucien and I are at the University of Manchester to do ellipsometry of some of our metasurfaces with Alexander Grigorenko and Vasyl Kravets. Not only did we have amazing results, we got some great Chinese food and a curry.

July 24-29, 2022. Maire-Hélène Delville, Etienne Duguet, Cynthia Cibaka and I are representing the group at Sol-Gel 2022. Everyone’s talks went well and we had a really good time. The best was when Cynthia got a job offer at the conference dinner to work with a famous chemist in L.A.!

June 22, 2022. Jon Veinot, Cynthia Cibaka and I received one of eight successfully funded FFCR/FCRF grants to work on silicon for metamaterials together. This is a great opportunity for us to work alongside such an expert in silicon chemistry.

May 17, 2022. Philippe Lalanne and I had a thesis project funded by the University of Bordeaux today, to study the effects of correlation on appearance in thin films.

April 21, 2022. A full day today of talks at the École Doctorale. It’s so nice to see everyone together after two years of Covid and to experience again the stimulating environment here in Bordeaux. Adrian Hereu gave a great talk, one day we will see him on a TED talk stage.


April 11, 2022. Lucian Roiban received us for a different METSA project at the INSA in Lyon to observe silicon nanoparticle nucleation in real time using an environmental TEM. I never knew that TEM could be so much fun, thank you Lucian!


March 8, 2022. Dris Ihiawakrim welcomed us to the IPCMS to do in situ environmental microscopy experiments within the framework of a METSA project. What an amazing team and such a great microscope! We are looking forward to our next visit.

Strasbourg METSA

Feb. 17, 2022. Controlling disorder? Lucien Roach to the rescue with a new review article in Nanoscale’s Special issue “Emerging Investigators”.

TOC controlled disorder

Jan. 3, 2022. Metal-induced crystallization isn’t just for semiconductors! Check out our piece highlighting this technique in metal oxides, published in ACS Accounts of Chemical Research.

Nov. 29, 2021. Bravo to PhD student Adrian Hereu, who received the jury prize –best young researcher talk of EUR LIGHT S&T for his presentation entitled “Fabrication of complex metasurfaces to control the visual appearance.”  Photo light

Nov. 23-25 2021. Adrian Hereu, Megan Parker, Lucien Roach, Alex Castro, Cynthia Cibaka and I spent a few great days at C’Nano. Great talks and great moments with our Toulousian colleagues!

Sept. 8, 2021. Laurent Lermusiaux just published an article entitled “Seeded growth of ultrathin gold nanoshells using polymer additives and microwave radiation.” Keep an eye out for this technique applied to other nanoparticles!

June 14-18, 2021. This year’s edition of SoFun was a really special one, the speakers were excellent! Thanks to all the students for being so involved, all the great questions and discussions.SoFun'3

June 3, 2021. Maria has won the C’Nano prize for her thesis! I am so very proud of Maria, she worked so diligently during her thesis and very much desserved this recognition.C'Nano

May 22, 2022. Scatter had its first Workshop! We talked about what has already been done, what we want to do and how we will work together as a group. And we ate, oiga pues! Thank you Alex for the beautiful meal.

May 17, 2021. Cynthia Cibaka-Ndaya, the newest addition to the team, has arrived! She will be working in collaboration with Jon Veinot and Cyril Aymonier to make perfect silicon spheres to be processed into a metamaterial. Welcome Cynthia.

March 8, 2021. Who’s up for some fun this summer? Inscriptions are open. SoFun'3_2021

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.


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.