UMR 8640 : Electrochimie

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Fast and complete electrochemical conversion of solutes contained in microvolume water droplets

Electrochemistry Communications 86 (2018) 145–148


An elegant hanging-droplet or meniscus-based setup is proposed to carry out quantitative electrolyses from either an organic (hydroquinone) or an inorganic (permanganate) substrate. These examples validate the concept of using such easily accessible, fast (1–3 min) and low-cost operating conditions not only for preparative applications (electrosynthesis), but also for pedagogical purposes in minute samples.

Electrochemical switching fluorescence emission in rhodamine derivatives

Electrochimica Acta 260 (2018) 589-597


Three rhodamine derivatives exhibiting electrofluorochromic properties were investigated by cyclic voltammetry and UVeVis/fluorescence spectroelectrochemistry. Rhodamine 101 (Rh101, compound 1) was used as a reference model. In compound 2, the carboxylate anion of Rh101 was replaced by an alkyne moiety to allow further functionalization. The compound 3 was prepared from 2 by conversion of the alkyne to a triazole group bearing an alkyl chain with an alcohol function. These three rhodamine derivatives exhibited similar electrochemical behaviors. Their mono-electronic reductions produced the corresponding radical species which were stable on the time-scale of cyclic voltammetry. Additional reduction of electrogenerated radicals produced unstable anions which underwent subsequent chemical reaction, most likely protonation. Based on cyclic voltammetry investigations, absorption and fluorescence spectroelectrochemistry were then performed on compounds 1, 2, 3 and their parent reduced radicals 1a, 2a, 3a. UVeVis spectroelectrochemistry, combined with TD-DFT calculation, confirmed the formation of radicals upon mono-electronic reduction of starting rhodamines. Fluorescence spectroelectrochemistry showed that, contrary to their parent molecules, electrogenerated radicals were non-fluorescent. Electrochemical fluorescence extinction was successfully achieved with all studied compounds. Moreover, compound 1 underwent on/off switching between fluorescent and nonfluorescent states repeatedly. Also, recovery of fluorescence in compound 3 was observed, which open interesting opportunities for the development of versatile rhodamine-based probes.

Copper-Catalyzed Hydroamination of Allenes: from Mechanistic Understanding to Methodology Development

ACS Catalysis2017, 7 (7), pp 4253–4264

Experimental and theoretical mechanistic studies on the Cu(OTf)2-catalyzed hydroamination reaction of terminal allenes with secondary amines reveal that in-situ generated cationic Cu(I) is the catalytically active species and explain the observed regio- and stereoselectivity for the unbranched E product. Insight about the structure of the relevant transition states allowed the generalization of this methodology to allenamides and N-allenylcarbamates under unprecedentedly mild and functional group tolerant conditions. Chelation effect by the amide oxygen in addition to electronic effects explain the high innate reactivity of this class of substrates.

Redesigning the QA binding site of Photosystem II allows reduction of exogenous quinones

Nat. Commun., 8, 15274


Strategies to harness photosynthesis from living organisms to generate electrical power have long been considered, yet efficiency remains low. Here, we aimed to reroute photosynthetic electron flow in photosynthetic organisms without compromising their phototrophic properties. We show that 2,6-dimethyl-p-benzoquinone (DMBQ) can be used as an electron mediator to assess the efficiency of mutations designed to engineer a novel electron donation pathway downstream of the primary electron acceptor QA of Photosystem (PS) II in the green alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. Through the use of structural prediction studies and a screen of site-directed PSII mutants we show that modifying the environment of the QA site increases the reduction rate of DMBQ. Truncating the C-terminus of the PsbT subunit protruding in the stroma provides evidence that shortening the distance between QA and DMBQ leads to sustained electron transfer to DMBQ, as confirmed by chronoamperometry, consistent with a bypass of the natural QA°- to QB pathway.

Selective Electrochemical Bleaching of the Outer Leaflet of Fluorescently Labeled Giant Liposomes

Chem. Eur. J., 23,1–8, 2017


Electrochemistry and confocal fluorescence microscopy were successfully combined to selectively bleach and monitor the fluorescence of NBD (7-nitrobenz-2-oxa-1,3- diazole)-labeled phospholipids of giant liposomes. Three types of giant unilamellar vesicles have been investigated, the fluorescent phospholipids being localized either mainly on their outer-, inner-, or both inner/outer leaflets. We established that only the fluorescent lipids incorporated in the outer leaflet of the vesicles underwent electrochemical bleaching upon reduction. The relative fluorescence intensity decay was quantified all along the electrochemical extinction through an original fluorescence loss in electrobleaching (FLIE) assay. As expected, the reorganization of the fluorescent phospholipids followed diffusion-driven dynamics. This was also evidenced by comparison with fluorescence loss in photobleaching (FLIP) and the corresponding numerical model. The value of the lateral diffusion coefficient of phospholipids was found to be similar to that obtained by other methods reported in the literature. This versatile and selective bleaching procedure appears reliable to explore important biological and pharmacological issues.