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Macromolecular synthesis using carbenes as building blocks

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General information

Reference : UMR5629-DANTAT-002
Workplace : PESSAC
Date of publication : Friday, August 30, 2019
Scientific Responsible name : Daniel TATON
Type of Contract : PhD Student contract / Thesis offer
Contract Period : 36 months
Start date of the thesis : 2 December 2019
Proportion of work : Full time
Remuneration : 2 135,00 € gross monthly

Description of the thesis topic

Singlet carbenes have witnessed tremendous developments in the past two decades: as ligands of transition metals, and as organic catalysts (macro)molecular chemistry. In contrast, their utility as true monomers has received very little attention. Here we propose new methodological approaches in macromolecular synthesis by exploiting the reactivity of peculiar singlet carbenes in key elementary reactions, including “carbene dimerization”, “carbene-metal coordination”, and “carbene insertion” in presence of difunctional monomer partners. One objective throughout the whole project is to rationalize the effects of a structural variation of the carbene precursors and experimental conditions on the reaction outcomes, and to elucidate the underlying reaction mechanisms.
Polymerization experiments, chemical post-modification of pre-formed polymers, polymer characterization and valorization of some polymeric compounds elaborated will be performed at LCPO. The physicochemical properties of the resulting polymeric frameworks will be tuned by a structural variation of the bis-carbenes through the use of a wide range of substrates.
The PhD student will benefit from a unique environment within the framework of this project with collaborations with colleagues in molecular chemistry (ISM, Bordeaux) and theoretical chemistry (IPREM, Pau).

Work Context

The Laboratory of Chemistry of Organic Polymers (LCPO) is a joint research unit affiliated to the CNRS, the University of Bordeaux and the Institut Polytechnique de Bordeaux ( The LCPO is organized into 4 research teams with a total strength of nearly 150 people, including about 50 permanent staff.

With over 30 years of expertise in polymer chemistry, researches at LCPO aim at:
- developing innovative methodologies for precision synthesis of polymers, using in particular biomimetic and/or green chemistry pathways
- designing functional polymer materials by macromolecular engineering and self-assembly, in the fields of renewable materials, health and energy
- establishing strong links with the socio-economy world.

Team 1 entitled "Catalysts and Polymerization Engineering" is headed by Daniel Taton. The team develops alternative synthetic strategies to "tailor-made" polymers with a special emphasis on:
- the design of activation or catalysis systems for highly selective polymerization reactions
- the development of recyclable and bio-inspired catalytic nanoreactors operating in various media, including in water
- the engineering of polymers, nanoparticles or nanostructures for targeted functions and applications.

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