2019 EuChemS Lecture Awardee – Webinar

May 14, 2021

The European Chemical Society, EuChemS, was pleased to organise the 2019 EuChemS Lecture Awardee Webinar. The online event was held on Wednesday 23 June, from 15:00 to 16:30 CEST. During this event, David Portehault, EuChemS 2019 Lecturer, gave a talk on “From water to molten salts: geoinspired syntheses and reactivity of nanomaterials“.

In his EuChemS Lecture, David Portehault presented the recent efforts of the group in taking inspiration from Nature, more specifically from geological events, to synthesize original nanomaterials. David Portehault presented geo-inspired synthesis conditions, from low temperature chimie douce in water, to liquid-phase synthesis in inorganic molten salts and to high pressures. He showed several cases of inorganic nanomaterials encompassing complex oxides and non-oxides like boron-, nitrogen- and silicon-based solids, discuss their formation pathways and show the unique electrochromic and electrocatalytic properties at stake with these nanoparticle-based materials.

In recognition of the major achievements of one junior scientist working in chemistry in a country with a EuChemS Member Organisation, David Portehault was awarded the EuChemS Lecture Award in 2019. Usually, the winner gets the opportunity to give a lecture at the next European Chemistry Congress (ECC) or at a conference of a EuChemS Professional Network (PN). However this year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the postponement of the 8th European Chemistry Congress (ECC8) to 2022, the event took place online.


  • Welcome by Floris Rutjes, EuChemS President
  • Introduction and Laudation by Floris Rutjes
  • From water to molten salts: geoinspired syntheses and reactivity of nanomaterials, David Portehault, 2019 EuChemS Lecture Awardee
  • Q&A Session 1
  • Award Certificate to David Portehault by Floris Rutjes
  • Introduction of next speakers by David Portehault
  • Design of metal silicide nanoparticles in molten salts for electrocatalytic water oxidation, Yang Song, PhD student at Sorbonne University
  • The soft chemistry of extended covalent systems towards boron-based nanomaterials, Fernando Igoa, Doctoral student at Sorbonne University
  • Q&A Session 2
  • Closing remarks by David Portehault
Floris Rutjes, EuChemS President

Floris Rutjes received his PhD at the University of Amsterdam in 1993 under the supervision of the late Prof. Speckamp. After a post-doctoral stay with Prof. Nicolaou at The Scripps Research Institute (La Jolla, USA) and an assistant-professorship at the University of Amsterdam, he became full professor in organic synthesis at Radboud University (Nijmegen, NL) in 1999. His research interests comprise the synthesis of biologically active heterocyclic molecules, new bioorthogonal click-probes for chemical ligation, and continuous flow synthesis in microreactors. He has received several awards including the Gold Medal of the Royal Netherlands Chemical Society (2002), the AstraZeneca Award for Research in Organic Chemistry (2003), and in 2008 was announced ‘Most entrepreneurial scientist of the Netherlands’. Currently, he is Director of the Institute for Molecules and Materials at Radboud University, past-president of the Royal Netherlands Chemical Society (KNCV) and president of the European Chemical Society (EuChemS).

David Portehault, 2019 EuChemS Lecture Awardee

David Portehault obtained his PhD in soft chemistry and nanomaterials science in 2008 at the Université Pierre et Marie Curie in Paris under the supervision of Prof. Jean-Pierre Jolivet. He then obtained a grant from the Program for Nanomaterials co-chaired by the Max Planck Society and the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS) to perform a senior post-doctorate at the Max Planck Institute for colloids and Interfaces (Potsdam) with Prof. Markus Antonietti from 2008 to 2010.

Since 2010, he is researcher at CNRS, in the Laboratory of Condensed Matter Chemistry of Paris at Sorbonne University. His research topics are at the edge of nanomaterials chemistry and solid-state chemistry. He is focusing on the development of methods, centered on liquid-phase syntheses, to design nanoparticles with original compositions and structures, to understand the reactivity of nanomaterials and to provide new insights into the properties of nanoparticle-based materials, spanning electrocatalysis, charge transport and energy conversion.

Yang Song, Phd student at Sorbonne University

Yang Song graduated from Sun Yat-sen University in Nuclear Engineering and Technology in 2016 in China. She obtained her master’s degree of engineering in the same discipline at Sun Yat-sen University in 2018. During her master studies, she performed two scientific research internships in France, first in the Institute of Nuclear Physics of Orsay on the optimization of the fabrication of actinide targets, then in the Physical Chemistry of Surfaces Group at Chimie ParisTech on the high temperature oxidation of TiAl Alloys. Since 2018, she’s performing her PhD studies in nanomaterials science at Sorbonne University in Paris under the supervision of David Portehault and funded by the China Scholarship Council. She is developing the chemistry of metal silicides at the nanoscale, encompassing synthesis pathways in molten salts and the electrocatalytic properties of these abundant elements-based materials.

Fernando Igoa, Doctoral student at Sorbonne University

Fernando Igoa obtained his Bachelor degree in Chemistry at the National University of Uruguay “UdelaR” in 2017, where he later obtained a Master in Chemistry. In parallel to his studies, he developed research as an undergraduate, in the field of organic-inorganic hybrid porous materials known as MOFs. In 2018 he was granted a scholarship for pursuing a Master degree in Physics of Materials at Sorbonne University. He was then hired as a contractual doctorate of Sorbonne University. His current research lies in the context of nanomaterials chemistry and physics. He’s exploring materials synthetic methods, i.e. high temperature liquid-phase and/or high-pressure syntheses, to design nanoparticles of extended covalent systems based on boron. He is using these nanomaterials as a platform to optimize physical-chemical properties through nanostructuration, particularly mechanical and electrocatalytic properties.

Page last updated: 30 June 2021