Master 2 Nanochemistry and Nano-objects

Resp.: Prof. Cyrille Train

Detailed program - Internship - Testimonials


The Nanochemistry and Nanoobjects speciality aims at providing a complete overview from the elaboration to the applications of a large variety of nanoobjects.

First, we will emphasize the elaboration of nanoobjects using the bottom-up strategy. In this approach, the control over the objects’ size, shape and dimensionality is achieved by the choice of the chemical precursors and/or of the reactions conditions such as solvent, pH, temperature, etc...


The small size of the objects deserves the use of specific physico-chemical techniques to identify their chemical contents, their size and their properties. These techniques will be described in details.

These first two aspects are so essential to chemists that they will be developed in compulsory courses. They will be complemented by the 2 Lab Training periods that can be considered as the trademark of the interdisciplinarity of this M2 formation since they will allow the students to explore in situ physical and/or biological properties of nanosystems.

Finally, the reduction in size indeed leads to specific physical, mechanical, chemical and biological properties as exemplified below:

  • the nanoobjects allow to finely explore the quantum regime of any physical properties. They are indeed often much different from their classical equivalent;
  • the introduction of nanoparticles in polymers deeply modify their mechanical behavior leading to original composites;
  • in (electro)catalysis, the reduction in size modifies the activity because of both the enhancement of the surface-to-volume ratio and the alteration of the electronic structure of the material;
  • nanoparticles appears as promising candidates for controlled drug delivery for example.


By the choice of her/his broadening courses, the students will choose which type of applications she/he wants to focus on.

Detailed program:

See here for the 1st year program of Nano-chemistry.

FALL SEMESTER - 30 ECTS from september to january

Common program in nanosciences: 6 ECTS
                 Micro- Nanofabrication  (3 ECTS, see course description here)
                 Research Training (3 ETCS)

Core courses in Nanochemistry: 9 ECTS
                 Molecular nano-materials - 6 ECTS
                 Inorganic nano-materials - 3 ECTS

Broadening courses: 15 ECTS to be chosen in the list below or in the general list of broadening courses

SPRING SEMESTER -  30 ECTS from february to june

General interest courses: 6 ETCS
            - Foreign language (french for non-french speaking students):  3 ECTS
            - 1 course among
                       Intellectual Property and Valorization  (3 ECTS)
                       Capita Selecta Lectures Series in Nanosciences (3 ECTS)
                       Other courses offered by the Service of Transverse Teachings (SET)

Master Thesis - 24 ECTS
Research project performed during a research internship of 5 months minimum. See here how to choose your master thesis.

Examples of internship proposals:

  • Construction of a molecular photocathode for light-driven hydrogen evolution, V. Artero, CBM.
  • Metal-radical compounds: toward systems with high blocking temperature of the magnetization, C. Train, LNCMI.
  • Structure-properties relationships in cellulose nanocrystals based multilayer thin films, B. Jean, CERMAV.
  • Study of bacterial cell surfaces by NMR, C. Bougault, IBS.
  • Physico‐chemical characterization of multivalent host‐guest interactions onto β‐cyclodextrine‐functionalized surfaces, L. Guerente, DCM.
  • Ternary semiconductor nanocrystals for QD-sensitized solar cells, P. Reiss, SPrAM.

Nanocomposite materials - 3 ECTS


 This course will provide background on critical issues in synthesis, fabrication, processing, and characterization of nanocomposites. The major thrust would be the challenges in manufacturing low cost real-life components in industrial applications, commercial success stories, its impact on current established material market, and future directions. We will discuss the underlying scientific principles that guide the study of structure-property relationships and will touch on parallel fields of investigation with high relevance to nanocomposites. The course will also cover the incorporation of a variety of nanophases into polymeric matrixes to provide functional materials, the importance of controlling surface energy, methods for achieving dispersion and common techniques for characterizing nanocomposite materials. The influence of the chemical nature of the dispersed (organic or mineral) elements on the different morphologies observed will be described.

Prerequisites: Introduction to polymer sciences and engineering.


Inorganic nano-materials - 3 ECTS
Goal: To demonstrate the novelty and advances in the field of nanostructured materials and architectured coatings for dedicated functions.  Their properties and applications especially in the domain of materials for energy and sustainability will be illustrated.
The different aspects of the bottom-up strategy towards nano-objects will be discussed for the fabrication of nanostructured powders and coatings. Processes using a vapor phase such as Chemical Vapor deposition and Atomic Layer Deposition will be presented in details: principles, applications, technological aspects and modelling. Special attention is focused on multimaterials stability through thermodynamics considerations.

- Fabrication of powders, nanocrystalline ceramics and nanostructured thin films. Ddevelopment of innovating processes : Electrostatic Spray Deposition, Spray-Pyrolysis assisted by ultrasonic atomiser, mecanosynthesis, dynamic compaction techniques, HIP and SPS sintering.
- Specific properties/structure relations (thermodynamical, electrical, catalytic, mechanical properties) of inorganic materials or nanocomposites as powders, ceramics and nanostructured membranes.
- Applications in different high technology domains : energy storage and energy conversion (fuel cells, lithium-ion batteries), environment (catalysis), protection against corrosion, analysis (electrochemical sensors), microelectronics
-  Chemical Processing of thin films and 3D nanoobjects from a vapor phase: Chemical Vapor Deposition, Atomic Layer Deposition: technological and chemical aspects (precursors selection), applications
-  Modeling of vapor phase processes  (thermodynamics, kinetics, Computational Fluid Dynamics)

Nano-safety - Management and prevention of a potential risk - 3 ECTS

Goal: Nanotechnologies give access to new and interesting properties of materials. Applications or potential applications of nanomaterials are today very numerous in research, industrial processes but also everyday life. As a consequence, impact on health and safety of those new substances becomes important. Indeed, assessment on life cycle analysis is a key element of development. This course presents the current knowledge and research regarding the potential risks associated to the development of nanotechnologies, organized around 3 axes:

  • Toxicology and ecotoxicology current knowledge, thanks to presentation of latest scientific studies on the subject,
  • occupationnal potential risks : how to manage an emerging risk ? what’s mandatory ? what kind of metrology can we use ? what are the best practices in order to prevent impact on health and environment ?
  • social perception of nanotechnologies over the world and over different cultures.

Detailed content:
1. Presentation of definitions and applications of nano-objects
International definitions in place, current environement, examples of emissions in different economic activities, field of applications (environment, energy, communication, health, everyday life, …)
2. Nanotoxicology and ecotoxicology
     What’s known , what’s going on ? what are the barriers of knowledge ?
     Key elements for a critical and objective reading of scientific edited publications.
3. Metrology :
      Behavior of nano-objects in the air
      Technologies and devices for nano-metrology, possibilities and limits
       Use of devices during a practical session
4. Regulations or recommandations available
5. Preventing measures: best practices available, as currently deployed in different organisms or industries