Laboratoire P.A.S.T.E.U.R

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Covalent Functionalization by Cycloaddition Reactions of Pristine Defect-Free Graphene

ACS Nano, Decembre 2016



Based on a low temperature scanning tunneling microscopy study, we present a direct visualization of a cycloaddition reaction performed for some specific fluorinated maleimide molecules deposited on graphene. Up to now it was widely admitted that such cycloaddition reaction can not happen without pre-existing defects. However, our study shows that the cycloaddition reaction can be carried out on a defect-free basal graphene plane at room temperature. In the course of covalently grafting the molecules to graphene, the sp2 conjugation of carbon atoms was broken and local sp3 bonds were created. The grafted molecules perturbed the graphene lattice, generating a standing-wave pattern with an anisotropy which was attributed to a (1,2) cycloaddition, as revealed by T-matrix approximation calculations. DFT calculations showed that while both (1,4) and (1,2) cycloaddition were possible on free standing graphene, only the (1,2) cycloaddition could be obtained for graphene on SiC(0001). Globally averaging spectroscopic techniques, XPS and ARPES, were used to determine the modification in the elemental composition of the samples induced by the reaction, indicating an opening of an electronic gap in graphene.

Chemisorption of Hydroxide on 2D Materials from DFT Calculations: Graphene versus Hexagonal Boron Nitride

J. Phys. Chem. Lett. 2016, 7, 4695−4700


Recent nanofluidic experiments revealed strongly diff erent surface charge measurements for boron-nitride (BN) and graphitic nanotubes when in contact with saline and alkaline water (Nature 2013 , 494 , 455− 458; Phys. Rev. Lett. 2016 , 116 , 154501). These observations contrast with the similar reactivity of a graphene layer and its BN counterpart, using density functional theory (DFT) framework, for intact and dissociative adsorption of gaseous water molecules. Here we investigate, by DFT in implicit water, single and multiple adsorption of anionic hydroxide on single layers. A differential adsorption strength is found in vacuum for the first ionic adsorption on the two materials chemisorbed on BN while physisorbed on graphene. The effect of implicit solvation reduces all adsorption values, resulting in a favorable (nonfavorable) adsorption on BN (graphene). We also calculate a pKa around  6 for BN in water, in good agreement with experiments. Comparatively, the unfavorable results for graphene in water echo the weaker surface charge measurements but point to an alternative scenario.

FAST : la start-up de chimie théorique – un nouveau paradigme pour le « drug design » !

FAST est une start-up localisée au sein du Département de Chimie de l’ENS proposant une solution logicielle pour calculer et visualiser en 3D les interactions entre l’eau et n’importe quelle molécule, médicament ou protéine et donc réduire les coûts de conception et accélérer la sélection de molécules thérapeutiques en drug design.

Protein Adsorption and Reorganization on Nanoparticles Probed by the Coffee- Ring Effect: Application to Single Point Mutation Detection

J. Am. Chem. Soc 2016, 138, 11623–11632


The coffee-ring effect denotes the accumulation of particles at the edge of an evaporating sessile drop pinned on a substrate. Because it can be detected by simple visual inspection, this ubiquitous phenomenon can be envisioned as a robust and cost-effective diagnostic tool. Toward this direction, here we systematically analyze the deposit morphology of drying drops containing polystyrene particles of different surface properties with various proteins (bovine serum albumin (BSA) and diff erent forms of hemoglobin). We show that deposit patterns reveal information on both the adsorption of proteins onto particles and their reorganization following adsorption. By combining pattern analysis with adsorption isotherm and zeta potential measurements, we show that the suppression of the coffee-ring effect and the formation of a disk-shaped pattern is primarily associated with particle neutralization by protein adsorption. However, our fi ndings also suggest that protein reorganization following adsorption can dramatically invert this tendency. Exposure of hydrophobic (respectively charged) residues can lead to disk (respectively ring) deposit morphologies independently of the global particle charge. Surface tension measurements and microscopic observations of the evaporating drops show that the determinant factor of the deposit morphology is the accumulation of particles at the liquid/gas interface during evaporation. This general behavior opens the possibility to probe protein adsorption and reorganization on particles by the analysis of the deposit patterns, the formation of a disk being the robust signature of particles rendered hydrophobic by protein adsorption. 


Ultrafast Dynamics of a Green Fluorescent Protein Chromophore Analogue: Competition between Excited-State Proton Transfer and Torsional Relaxation

J. Phys. Chem. B2016120 (36), pp 9716–9722


The competition between excited-state proton transfer (ESPT) and torsion plays a central role in the photophysics of fluorescent proteins of the green fluorescent protein (GFP) family and their chromophores. Here, it was investigated in a single GFP chromophore analogue bearing o-hydroxy and p-diethylamino substituents, OHIM. The light-induced dynamics of OHIM was studied by femtosecond transient absorption spectroscopy, at different pH. We found that the photophysics of OHIM is determined by the electron-donating character of the diethylamino group: torsional relaxation dominates when the diethylamino group is neutral, whereas ultrafast ESPT followed by cis/trans isomerization and ground-state reprotonation are observed when the diethylamino group is protonated and therefore inactive as an electron donor.