Chantal Joseph Abou Fayssal

Metal nanoparticles embedded in ligand-functionalized water-soluble core-shell polymers for application in aqueous biphasic hydrogenation

Metallic nanoparticles (MNPs) garner substantial attention in the field of catalysis due to their remarkably high surface-to-volume ratio, that induces a high number of potentially catalytically active sites. A novel catalytic approach is based on the confinement of MNPs in water-soluble polymeric micellar nanoreactors. This approach allows to perform aqueous-organic two-phase catalysis with efficient catalyst recycling by simple phase separation, provided the MNPs remain firmly confined in the nanoreactor. The current PhD project focuses on the development of a new generation of polymeric nanoreactors, which are modified in the core with phosphine oxide functionalities to provide efficient anchoring of rhodium NPs (RhNPs) and durable catalysts for aqueous biphasic hydrogenation.

Nanoreactors based on both polycationic and polyanionic shell were synthesized, characterized, and loaded with RhNPs in the project, employing either ex-situ synthesis of RhNPs in the presence of stabilizers followed by their transfer to the nanoreactors, or a direct one-pot synthesis approach. The resulting RhNPs catalysts showed very good catalytic performance in aqueous biphasic hydrogenation of alkenes, alkynes, and carbonyl substrates. Importantly, the catalysts proved also reusable in multiple catalytic runs without any perceptible RhNPs loss during product extraction, thus making the new anchoring strategy with phosphine oxide a new highly versatile approach in aqueous biphasic catalysis.


Principal Supervisor:

Professor Anders Riisager, DTU Chemistry



Dr. Karine Philippot, French National Centre for Scientific Research, Toulouse

Dr. Eric Manoury, French National Centre for Scientific Research, Toulouse

Associate Professor Martin Nielsen, DTU Chemistry



Professor Esben Thormann, DTU Chemistry

Associate Professor, Cyril Godard, Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Spain

Senior Lecturer Audrey Denicourt-Nowicki, Université de Rennes, France



Professor Kristoffer Almdal, DTU Chemistry




tor 30 nov 23
11:00 - 14:00


Technical University of Denmark

Aud. 41, Building 303A


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