Dr. Sophie Carenco

Academic Background

Dr. Sophie Carenco graduated in 2008 from Ecole Polytechnique, in France. She obtained her PhD in 2011 from UPMC, Paris (now Sorbonne Université). She worked on the synthesis and applications of metal phosphide nanoparticles for catalysis and lithium batteries, under the supervision of Prof. Clément Sanchez and Dr. Nicolas Mézailles. From 2012 to 2013, she was a post-doctoral fellow in the group of Prof. Miquel Salmeron at Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, Berkeley, California, where she used synchrotron-based in situ spectroscopies (such as near-ambient-pressure x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy) to monitor the surface state of metal nanoparticles during model catalytic reactions. In 2014, she joined CNRS as a researcher in the Materials Science department of Sorbonne Université, in the Laboratoire de Chimie de la Matière Condensée de Paris. She is now leading several research projects including a Young Investigator Grant from the National Agency for Research (ANR) since 2017 on the topic of metal oxysulfide nanoparticles and an ERC Starting Grant since 2018, aiming at boosting the surface reactivity of ligand-covered nanoparticles. She is also involved in inter-disciplinary research in collaboration with solid-state physicists on the behavior of nanoscale matter (magnetism, optical properties) as well as with biologists on the safer-by-design approach for nanoparticles.
Dr. Carenco is involved in scientific outreach and published in 2012 a book about nanomaterials and chemistry. She regularly gives plenary conferences for the general public on the topic of nanomaterials and participates to a series of actions, such as short videos and round tables. Sophie Carenco also contributes to discussions on science policies, inclusivity in science (including gender balance) and on science societal impact, with policy makers and institutions, through her membership at the Global Young Academy and as a board member of the French Council for Scientific Integrity. She is one of the founding members of the International Younger Chemists Network (IYCN), created in 2017 in Brazil, and served in the board of IYCN and RJ-SCF (the French young chemists network). She is an active member of other organizations such as the European Young Chemists Network (EYCN) of EuCheMS, and of the French chemical society (SCF). She serves in the Early Career Advisory Board of ACS Catalysis since 2019.
Carenco’s contributions span from chemistry of materials to molecular chemistry and spectroscopy applied to nanochemistry. These have resulted in more than 40 articles (including 18 as corresponding author), and 6 invited lectures at international conferences. She defended her habilitation in 2019 at Sorbonne Université. She was awarded the European Young Chemist Award in 2010, the C'Nano National Award in 2012, the L’Oreal-UNESCO Fellowship in 2014. In 2018, she received the Bronze Medal of CNRS, as well as the Jean Rist Medal from SF2M and the Young Investigator Award from the Division of Physical Chemistry of SCF and SFP.


Research Interests

Dr. Carenco aims at deciphering the interplay between the nanoscaled features of an inorganic solid (composition, number of atoms, ligand at its surface) and its interaction with its environment. She works on producing well-defined nanoparticles of complex composition (eg. metal phosphides, metal oxysulfides, metal alloys, metal carbides), using the combined tools and concepts of molecular chemistry and materials sciences. She studies the surface reactivity of these nanoparticles using environmental tools such as in situ cells developed at synchrotrons for a range of spectroscopies (X-Ray, IR, etc.). Catalysis is the natural application of these insights, as well as a timely and relevant playground for contributing to the societal challenges.


Twitter handle: @SophieCARENCO

More Awardees

Dr. Daria Galimberti (Awardee 2021)

Dr. Michelle Browne (Awardee 2021)

Dr. Sophie Carenco (Awardee 2020)

Dr. Marίa Escudero Escribano (Awardee 2019)

Awardees in UniCat

Click here to see more awardees from the research cluster UniCat.​​​​​​​