Laboratoire Charles Coulomb UMR 5221 CNRS/UM2 (L2C)


Accueil > La Recherche > Axes & Equipes > Nanostructures & Spectroscopies > Equipe : Nanomatériaux > Thème : Nanomatériaux fonctionnels

Ions and Molecules in Micro and Mesoporous Materials

par Sébastien LAYSSAC - publié le

Involved researchers : Lydie Berardo, François Henn, Vincent Jourdain, Mohamed Kharroubi

Many micro and mesoporous materials possess internal surface partly covered with ions
that neutralize the electrical charge born by the framework. It is well acknowledged that
these ions play a key role on the material properties regarding, in particular,
adsorption of liquids or gas, surface reactivity and ionic conductivity. These materials
are therefore used in many applications : gas capture, liquid or gas phase separation,
catalysis, ionic exchange,...etc. As an example, clay minerals have been the subject of
considerable attention since these natural alumino-silicates exhibit remarkable
properties that are used, among many other applications, in water decontamination (e.g.
heavy metals, organic compounds).
Likewise, some micro and mesoporous materials are of great interest for fundamental
research since they can be considered as model materials for investigating ions and guest
molecules confinement at the nanoscopic scale. This is the case, for instance, of
zeolites and mesoporous silica whose surface chemistry and pore size can be very well

Today, our research project is twofold. In both cases, we have been developing new
research axes at the interface between biological matter (e.g. protein) and solid state
i) During the last decade, we studied the role of the so-called extra-framework
cations (EFC) localized in zeolites and clay minerals internal surface, on adsorption of
small molecules as water or methanol. We now investigate the role of EFC on the
protein/clay mineral interaction. More particularly, we work on alkali and alkali-earth
exchanged montmorillonites (a common swelling clay from the smectite family) in
interaction with different soft and hard proteins.
ii) Besides, we have started a new research project on the confinement of ionic
bio-channels in solid-state nanoporous systems. Our goals are : i) to control and
characterize the confinement of a ionic bio-channel into the considered solid-state
nanopores, ii) to investigate the effects of the channel confinement on the ion transport
features of the so-obtained bioinspired membranes, and iii) to built new bioinspired
membranes with high ionic permeability and selectivity performances.

In every case, we attempt to combine experiments and theoretical work.