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Group of Electrochemistry - UMR 8640 PASTEUR

The group of Electrochemistry is located at the Chemistry department of Ecole Normale Supérieure in UMR CNRS 8640 PASTEUR. Since its creation the group has been conceived as an association of small sub-groups aimed to thoroughly different objectives: Theoretical and experimental concepts in molecular / biomolecular, (bio)analytical and physical electrochemistry. The results and ensuing projects are primarily aimed to understand phenomena that go well beyond electrochemistry but in which a smart use of electrochemical approaches lead to new views and new knowledge almost impossible to achieve by other physicochemical or analytical approaches. This has led the group to open a series of new research fields which are presently widely recognized.
 Determination of the mechanisms of transition metal-catalyzed reactions. The purpose of these researches is the complete elucidation of the mechanisms of synthetically important transition metal-catalyzed reactions such as those awarded the Nobel prize in Chemistry (Suzuki, 2010; the mechanistic intricacies of Heck’s and Negishi’s reaction were fully unraveled during previous quadrennial periods) for a better understanding and to afford ways to improve reaction efficiencies. This is performed via the identification and characterization (structure and reactivity) of organometallic intermediates involved in the catalytic cycles, some of them being unexpected, based on electrochemistry as the main analytical technique.
 Molecular activation. Here, electrochemistry is used as a tool to detect, activate, and study the reactivity of organic molecules and transition metal complexes in terms of interesting applications in catalysis or therapy. In this issue, the mechanisms involved in these reactions are the objects of study because they are at the heart of the metabolic activities of these compounds.
 Biological applications of ultramicroelectrodes: This theme relates to the use and development of electrochemical tools dedicated to the understanding of mechanisms of biomolecules release from single cells, as oxidative stress and vesicular exocytosis (secretion of neurotransmitters). The small amount (fmol) of electroactive species emitted by a stimulated cell causes a local variation of the concentration detectable easily in electrochemistry as a faradaic current with a high resolution in the configuration of "artificial synapse" or in a confined environment.
 Ultramicroelectrodes: From fundamental properties to concepts and applications. This approach is to investigate the phenomena which underly the development of electroanalytical tools, at the micrometer or submicrometer scale. These studies, both theoretical and experimental, thus aim to take advantage of the fundamental properties of ultramicroelectrodes according to the geometry of space and local hydrodynamic regimes. The ultimate goal is to integrate ultramicroelectrodes in microdevices and associate them in specific configurations for the development of original concepts and high-performance analytical tools.
 Applied mathematic to electrochemical problems. The development of mathematical and computational solutions to solve complex electrochemical problems is fully addressed. The objectives are to meet the challenges associated with very small electrode sizes, nanoscience and very low volumes to accompany the electrochemistry in the "nano world".