National Engineering School of Caen
Caen, France
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Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ICT-2013.3.2 | Award Amount: 10.08M | Year: 2013

ACTPHAST is a unique one-stop-shop European access centre for photonics innovation solutions and technology support (Access CenTre for PHotonics innovAtion Solutions and Technology support). ACTPHAST will support and accelerate the innovation capacity of European SMEs by providing them with direct access to the expertise and state-of-the-art facilities of Europes leading photonics research centres, enabling companies to exploit the tremendous commercial potential of applied photonics. Technologies available within the consortium range from fibre optics and micro optics, to highly integrated photonic platforms, with capabilities extending from design through to full system prototyping. ACTPHAST has been geographically configured to ensure all of Europes SMEs can avail of timely, cost-effective, and investment-free photonics innovation support, and that the extensive range of capabilities within the consortium will impact across a wide range of industrial sectors, from communications to consumer-related products, biotechnology to medical devices. The access of predominantly SMEs to top-level experts and leading photonics technology platforms provided by the ACTPHAST consortium will be realised through focused innovation projects executed in relatively short timeframes with a critical mass of suitably qualified companies with high potential product concepts. As a result of these projects, the programme is expected to deliver a substantial increase in the revenues and employment numbers of the supported companies by supporting the development of new product opportunities and addressing emerging markets. Furthermore, through its extensive outreach activities, the programme will ensure there is an increased level of awareness and understanding across European industries of the technological and commercial potential of photonics.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: NOE | Phase: ICT-2009.3.5 | Award Amount: 4.94M | Year: 2010

ICT developments both enable and also enforce large-scale, highly-connected systems in society and industry. Knowledge to cope with these emerging systems is lacking. HYCON2 will stimulate and establish the long-term integration of the European research community, leading institutions and industry in the strategic field of control of complex, large-scale, and networked dynamical systems. It will interconnect scattered groups to create critical mass and complementarity, and will provide the necessary visibility and communication with the European industries. HYCON2 will assess and coordinate basic and applied research, from fundamental analytical properties of complex systems to control design methodologies with networking, self-organizing and system-wide coordination. HYCON2 has identified several applications domains to motivate, integrate, and evaluate research in networked control. These domains are ground and aerospace transportation, electrical power networks, process industries, and biological and medical systems. Benchmarking will serve as a tool for testing and evaluating the technologies developed in HYCON2 and for stimulating and enforcing excellence by the identification and adoption of best practices. In particular, two show-case applications corresponding to real-world problems have been selected in order to demonstrate the applicability of networked control and the need for research in control. As no substantial technological breakthrough can be achieved without preparing the proper cultural background, a further important objective of HYCON2 is to spread and disseminate excellence through multi-disciplinary education at the graduate and undergraduate level. The proposed research, integration and dissemination program will make Europe both the prominent scientific and the industrial leader in the area of highly complex and networked control systems, therefore posing Europe in an extraordinary position to exploit their impact in economy and society.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CSA | Phase: ICT-2009.3.7 | Award Amount: 1.84M | Year: 2010

Micro-optics holds tremendous potential for SMEs and large companies to develop competitive products and to boost product innovation. Micro-optics however continuously requires advanced knowledge as well as a complex technology supply chain, which are very often not affordable. This project targets to pro-actively provide companies with timely, cost-effective, investment-free Access to a unique one-stop-shop European Centre To Micro-Optics Expertise, Services and Technologies ACTMOST. The access of predominantly SMEs to leading edge technology and knowledge provided by the ACTMOST partners will be realized by them through focused collaborations in so called user projects and through hands-on training of industry staff in highly advanced laboratories of the ACTMOST research institutions. ACTMOST also targets to develop a business model which would enable continuation of SME and company support without public funding. As such ACTMOST intends to be a major driving force to sustainably support European industry in keeping a leading position in micro-optic and micro-photonic enhanced products, thus strengthening the competitiveness of Europe and creating new jobs.

Meunier F.C.,National Engineering School of Caen
Chemical Society Reviews | Year: 2010

This tutorial review discusses some of the current designs of reaction cells used for operando spectroscopy (X-ray absorption, UV-vis, Raman, transmission FTIR and DRIFTS) and the relation to the apparent reaction kinetics. Beam effects, the control of the catalyst bed temperature and bed by-pass are some of the potential problems that may lead to flawed activity measurements. Finally, four examples are given in which a good agreement was obtained between the activity of a powdered catalyst measured in a conventional reactor and in a spectroscopic cell. It is proposed that such comparison between reactors should become a standard procedure, to ensure the correctness of the data collected over typically non-ideal spectroscopic reaction cells. © 2010 The Royal Society of Chemistry.

Meunier F.C.,National Engineering School of Caen
Angewandte Chemie - International Edition | Year: 2011

The shape of things to come: The preparation and combination of nanoparticles of copper and zinc oxide with controlled morphology opens new avenues in the understanding of metal-support interactions and may help resolving the intricacy of methanol synthesis during the hydrogenation of CO2. The improved selectivity to methanol formation observed with some of the morphology combinations suggests that the reverse water-gas-shift side-reaction to give CO could be dramatically minimized (see scheme). Copyright © 2011 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

Rouden J.,National Engineering School of Caen | Lasne M.-C.,National Engineering School of Caen | Blanchet J.,National Engineering School of Caen | Baudoux J.,National Engineering School of Caen
Chemical Reviews | Year: 2014

Cytisine has a high affinity at nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs)10-14 with high α4β2 subtype selectivity. It behaves as a partial agonist with low nonspecific binding. Cytisine has appeared as a lead candidate to develop new molecules interacting more selectively with the nAChRs of the central nervous system (CNS) while displaying minimal side effects. Cytisine was first isolated in 1865 by Husemann and Marmeé from the seeds of Cytisus Laburnum Med., a small hardy tree common in central and southern Europe and cultivated for its golden-yellow flowers. The binding characteristics of [3H]cytisine to brain membrane preparations have been extensively studied since 1980. Freedman, Sloan, and Anderson research groups demonstrated that the dissociation constant (KD) of [3H]cytisine for rat brain nAChRs was less than 1 nM10 (0.145 nM). The Ferger group in 1998 demonstrated that cytisine can induce a reduction of hydroxyl radical production in vitro.

Fernandez C.,National Engineering School of Caen | Pruski M.,Iowa State University
Topics in Current Chemistry | Year: 2012

Solid-state nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) of quadrupolar nuclei has recently undergone remarkable development of capabilities for obtaining structural and dynamic information at the molecular level. This review summarizes the key achievements attained during the last couple of decades in solid-state NMR of both integer spin and half-integer spin quadrupolar nuclei. We provide a concise description of the first- and second-order quadrupolar interactions, and their effect on the static and magic angle spinning (MAS) spectra. Methods are explained for efficient excitation of single- and multiple-quantum coherences, and acquisition of spectra under low- and high-resolution conditions. Most of all, we present a coherent, comparative description of the high-resolution methods for half-integer quadrupolar nuclei, including double rotation (DOR), dynamic angle spinning (DAS), multiple-quantum magic angle spinning (MQMAS), and satellite transition magic angle spinning (STMAS). Also highlighted are methods for processing and analysis of the spectra. Finally, we review methods for probing the heteronuclear and homonuclear correlations between the quadrupolar nuclei and their quadrupolar or spin-1/2 neighbors. © 2011 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.

Valtchev V.,National Engineering School of Caen | Majano G.,ETH Zurich | Mintova S.,National Engineering School of Caen | Perez-Ramirez J.,ETH Zurich
Chemical Society Reviews | Year: 2013

Crystalline microporous solids are an important class of inorganic materials with uses in different areas impacting our everyday lives, namely as catalysts, adsorbents, and ion exchangers. Advancements in synthesis have been invaluable in expanding the classical aluminosilicate zeolites to new unique framework types and compositions, motivating innovative developments. However, the inexhaustible post-synthetic options to tailor zeolite properties have been and will continue to be indispensable to realize emerging and to improve conventional applications. Starting from the routine drying and template removal processes that every zeolite must experience prior to use, a wide spectrum of treatments exists to alter individual or collective characteristics of these materials for optimal performance. This review documents the toolbox of post-synthetic strategies available to tune the properties of zeolitic materials for specific functions. The categorisation is based on the scale at which the alteration is aimed at, including the atomic structure (e.g. the introduction, dislodgment, or replacement of framework atoms), the micropore level (e.g. template removal and functionalisation by inorganic and organic species), and the crystal and particle levels (e.g. the introduction of auxiliary porosity). Through examples in the recent literature, it is shown that the combination of post-synthetic methods enables rational zeolite design, extending the characteristics of these materials way beyond those imposed by the synthesis conditions.

Valtchev V.,National Engineering School of Caen | Tosheva L.,Manchester Metropolitan University
Chemical Reviews | Year: 2013

The steady interest in nanosized porous solids is due to the potential of these materials to offer sustainable solutions to global issues such as increasing energy demands and at the same time more rigorous environmental standards for industrial pollutants, depletion of resources, and health improvement. Considering the accumulated number of publications dedicated to porous nanoparticles and their somewhat limited outreach in cross-disciplinary fields, the aim of this review is to provide an overview of recent developments in the area of synthesis and applications of the different groups of porous nanomaterials. The classical definition of a zeolite is a crystalline aluminosilicate built of oxygen-linked tetrahedral silicon and aluminum atoms that form a three-dimensional microporous structure comprising channels and voids occupied by alkali or alkali-earth cations and water molecules.

Gaillard S.,University of St. Andrews | Gaillard S.,National Engineering School of Caen | Cazin C.S.J.,University of St. Andrews | Nolan S.P.,University of St. Andrews
Accounts of Chemical Research | Year: 2012

Environmental concerns have and will continue to have a significant role in determining how chemistry is carried out. Chemists will be challenged to develop new, efficient synthetic processes that have the fewest possible steps leading to a target molecule, the goal being to decrease the amount of waste generated and reduce energy use. Along this path, chemists will need to develop highly selective reactions with atom-economical pathways producing nontoxic byproduct. In this context, C-H bond activation and functionalization is an extremely attractive method. Indeed, for most organic transformations, the presence of a reactive functionality is required. In Total Synthesis, the "protection and deprotection" approach with such reactive groups limits the overall yield of the synthesis, involves the generation of significant chemical waste, costs energy, and in the end is not as green as one would hope. In turn, if a C-H bond functionalization were possible, instead of the use of a prefunctionalized version of the said C-H bond, the number of steps in a synthesis would obviously be reduced. In this case, the C-H bond can be viewed as a dormant functional group that can be activated when necessary during the synthetic strategy. One issue increasing the challenge of such a desired reaction is selectivity. The cleavage of a C-H bond (bond dissociation requires between 85 and 105 kcal/mol) necessitates a high-energy species, which could quickly become a drawback for the control of chemo-, regio-, and stereoselectivity. Transition metal catalysts are useful reagents for surmounting this problem; they can decrease the kinetic barrier of the reaction yet retain control over selectivity. Transition metal complexes also offer important versatility in having distinct pathways that can lead to activation of the C-H bond. An oxidative addition of the metal in the C-H bond, and a base-assisted metal-carbon bond formation in which the base can be coordinated (or not) to the metal complexes are possible. These different C-H bond activation modes provide chemists with several synthetic options. In this Account, we discuss recent discoveries involving the versatile NHC-gold(I) and NHC-copper(I) hydroxide complexes (where NHC is N-heterocyclic carbene) showing interesting BrØnsted basic properties for C-H bond activation or C-H bond functionalization purposes. The simple and easy synthesis of these two complexes involves their halide-bearing relatives reacting with simple alkali metal hydroxides. These complexes can react cleanly with organic compounds bearing protons with compatible pKa values, producing only water as byproduct. It is a very simple protocol indeed and may be sold as a C-H bond activation, although the less flashy "metalation reaction" also accurately describes the process. The synthesis of these complexes has led us to develop new organometallic chemistry and catalysis involving C-H bond activation (metalation) and subsequent C-H bond functionalization. We further highlight applications with these reactions, in areas such as photoluminescence and biological activities of NHC-gold(I) and NHC-copper(I) complexes. © 2011 American Chemical Society.

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