Matter reveals itself

From the start onset of a new form of physics in particle collisions to the quantum computer race via the former pathways of the art market revealed by spectroscopy, matter is teeming with mysteries that research attempts to clarify.


Artificial photosynthesis recycles CO2 into methane

The CO2 rejected by human activities, which is the principal element responsible main factor for global warming, could. One day, this could be easily be recycled to supply into an energy source. This is precisely what the research work byof a team from the Laboratoire d’électrochimie moléculaire (LEM)1Laboratoire d’Electrochimie Moléculaire (CNRS/ Université Paris Diderot/ Université Sorbonne Paris Cité) promises seeks to do just that achieve. The researchers scientists have developed come up with a procedure process capable ofthat can transforming greenhouse effect gas into methane, the principal component of natural gas, simply by using solar light and a molecular catalyst.

In contrast to other procedures of CO2 transformation methods used to date, the one technique developed by the chemists is much more environmentally-friendly; the reaction is carried out occurs at atmospheric temperature and pressure, and uses relies on sunlight as the only energy source, a principle that is comparable to that of photosynthesis in which plants transform CO2 using through solar energy. Additionally, the catalyst used is based on iron, an abundant, non-toxic metal. “For all these reasons, the large-scale development of our procedure system is an a aim goal that we wish want to pursue”, underlines Marc Robert, of the LEM.

For this wish to become reality come true, the researchers are now attempting to understand CO2 catalysis in the minutest detail. The first phase step of the procedure process, where CO2 is transformed into carbon monoxide, is already perfectly well-described. Moreover, the chemists have designed a device dedicated uniquely solely to this reaction, which won earned Marc Robert and his colleagues Jean-Michel Savéant and Cyrille Costentin the Air Liquide Air company’s prize for the challenge of group’s “Essential Mmolecules Challenge”. Carbon monoxide is a key raw material that is important for the chemical industry in the short-term. The LEM team plans to develop a reactor that is capable of able to producinge this gas in large quantities.

Nature, July 2017

Sources :
Ces chimistes à l’assaut du CO2
Vers une production de “carburant solaire”


An important step towards the quantum transistor

Physicists have designed a quantum gate capable of blocking photons or letting them through one by one.


The Nobel Prize in Physics rewards topology

This branch of mathematics enabled the three laureates of the 2016 Nobel Prize in Physics to explain changes in the state of matter in extremely thin-layer media.


New AGLAÉ: a world first

The performance of the particle accelerator dedicated to the study of works of art has been considerably enhanced.


Krypton-67, a new atomic nucleus detected

When Krypton-67 disintegrates, two protons are emitted. This is a highly unusual form of radioactivity.


Controlled blossoming of a “molecular flower”

By succeeding in changing the shape of a synthetic molecule, researchers have paved the way for the elaboration of complex macromolecular systems.


European XFEL takes the stage

The new ultrafast X-ray laser will allow Europeans to analyse the real time dynamics of molecules or nano-objects at the atomic-scale resolution.


Graphene to reinforce ceramics

Researchers drew inspiration from mother-of-pearl, a natural phenomenon in shellfish, to make a material stronger.

News in brief


In brief

© L. Ronat/CNRS Photothèque

The Plasma Jets project led by the GREMI1Groupe de Recherches sur l’Énergétique des Milieux Ionisés (CNRS/Université d’Orléans) received the Cosmetic Victories competition’s Academic Prize at Cosmetic 360, the perfume-cosmetics international innovation exhibition. This distinction rewards research of excellence in a field where the CNRS federates more than 50 laboratories, with the Cosm’Actifs research network, and leads technology transfer through the creation of a cosmetics “CNRS Transfer Focus”, which has already filed 131 patents.

The CNRS pre-incubation programme is endowed with an annual budget of €2 million. It supports the first development stages of projects with high innovation potential, until proof of concept is reached. Acting upstream of the technology transfer companies (SATTs), it selects and finances some twenty projects each year. The solid intellectual property, the keen interest shown by industrial companies, as well as the numerous distinctions awarded to the projects and the media coverage they attracted, all emphasize the relevance of a programme made available to laboratories.