Current address: University of Rennes 1, Institute of Chemical Sciences of Rennes & Engineering School of University of Rennes 1, Rennes, France
“Structure, Microstructure, and Temperature Dependent Diffraction Studies of New Cerium-based Precursors and Related Oxides”
I was honored by receiving two Frevel Crystallography Scholarship Awards in 1997 and 1998, during the preparation of my thesis under the supervision of Dr. Daniel Louër at the University of Rennes, France. My research activities involved the preparation of cerium nitrates compounds, their crystal structure determinations using crystallography and X-ray diffraction, the study of their reactivity under various atmospheres and temperature, and the study of the microstructural properties of the cerium oxides formed from the thermal decomposition of these precursors. I also dedicated a part of my time to study the microstructure of zinc oxide samples prepared from various precursors. This topic was an old one already developed in Rennes when I started my Ph.D. With Daniel Louër, we evidenced some “genetic” properties between the chemical precursors and the microstructures of the final oxides that are formed from their degradation.
The awards gave me great opportunities to attend congresses and meetings, like the meeting of the 1997 British Crystallography Association in Leeds and the Denver X-ray Conference, the same year, where I met renowned scientists and learned a lot. I also used part of the grants to buy many books that I am pleased to use again now for my research or teachings activities. I defended my thesis in chemistry at the end of 1998, with a jury whose members included Drs. Daniel Louër and Ian Langford. After my thesis, I moved to Stuttgart, Germany, for almost one year for a post-doc under the supervision of Prof. Eric Mittemeijer at the Max-Planck Institute, where I studied intermetallic systems and learned other topics in solid state chemistry. At the end of 1999, I came back to Rennes for a temporary position of assistant professor and started to teach at that time. At the end of 2000, I was recruited for a permanent position of assistant professor (“maître de conference” in the French system). In 2004, I defended my Habilitation thesis in chemistry and physics. Since September 2014, I am a full professor at University of Rennes 1. Actually, my research activities deal with the study of new porous hybrid materials, including their synthesis, their structure determinations from X-ray single-crystal and powder diffraction, their chemical and thermal reactivity, and also the microstructure of nanocrystalline materials, mainly oxides, from X-ray powder diffraction. My main teachings now concern crystallography and X-ray powder diffraction.
Receiving these Awards was a great surprise and I was deeply honoured. At that time, I felt them as encouragements. Today, I am fully convinced that the Ludo Frevel Crystallography Scholarship Awards definitely helped me to get my first permanent position at the University and had a tremendous impact on my career. I am very grateful to ICDD for helping me to become a member of the French academic research and teaching community, which was my hope when I started the preparation of my thesis.
I am co-author of more than 65 peer-reviewed articles; one book chapter; two patents; and more than 30 oral communications, eight of which are invited ones; co-editor of one special issue of Powder Diffraction dedicated to Dr. Daniel Louër, and supervisor or co-supervisor of seven Ph.D. theses.
Since 2004, I am member of the European Powder Diffraction Conference Committee and since 2008, I am member of the Program Committees at ESRF and SOLEIL synchrotrons. In October 2013, I was elected as Vice-chairman of the Board of Directors of the French Association of Crystallography. I am also responsible for the organizing committee of various conferences and exhibitions in the Rennes area during year 2014, International Year of Crystallography. Finally, I keep regular scientific contacts with ICDD through the Grant-in-Aid Program for which I am principal investigator since 2003.