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Dr Sébastien Gauthier

Associate Professor

Institut des Sciences Chimiques de Rennes
UMR 6226 CNRS - Université Rennes 1
IUT de Lannion
Rue E. Branly. BP30219
22302 Lannion Cedex - France

Phone : 33 (0) 2 96 46 93 44


After obtaining his Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry at the Université Joseph Fournier (UJF) in Grenoble, Sébastien Gauthier wanted to travel abroad, but did not want to renounce to his studies in chemistry. Through an exchange program, he joined the Université du Québec de Montréal (UQAM) in Canada and completed a master degree in chemical engineering. In Québec, he faced the coldest weather ever, and welcomed the warmth of hearty food and maple syrup !

Back in Grenoble, he graduated from the Université Joseph Fournier with a master in chemical engineering before attending graduate school at l’Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) in Switzerland in Dr. Kay Severin’s research group, where he obtained his Ph.D. in 2006. More than a Ph.D.’s advisor, Dr. Severin was a true mentor for Sébastien, teaching him everything from organometallic chemistry to English, even though they were in a French-spoken school. Sébastien worked hard but had also lots of fun with other graduate students from all over the world who became his life-long friends.

While in Switzerland, he moved to another Ecole Polytechnique, l’Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Zürich (ETHZ) as a postdoctoral researcher in Dr. Hansjörg Grützmacher’s group. Not that he knew it at the time, he was not done traveling when he got the opportunity to join Dr. John Gladysz and participate in his lab and group installation in Texas A&M University. He spent two years in Texas, met wonderful people, learnt a lot, including not to mess with Texas!! Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end, and he had to go back to France, where he worked for one year at l’Ecole Nationale Supérieure de Chimie de Paris (ENSCP) on a project funded by the Pierre Fabre Corporation. In 2010, he obtained an Associate Professor position at the IUT de Lannion and joined the Heterocyclic Organometallics group at the Institut des Sciences Chimiques de Rennes at the Université de Rennes 1.

Education and professional experience

  • 2000: B.S. Chemistry, Université Joseph Fourier Grenoble France
  • 2002: M.S. Chemistry, Université Université Joseph Fourier Grenoble
  • 2002: M.S. Chem. Engineering, Exchange Program Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM) & Université Joseph Fourier Grenoble
  • 2006: Ph.D. in Organometallic Chemistry, Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), Suisse, Supervisor: Prof. Kay Severin - Synthesis, Structures and Catalysis Applications of New Polynuclear Complexes
  • 2006-2007: Post doctoral research, Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Zürich (ETHZ), Suisse, Supervisor: Prof. Hansjörg Grützmacher – Syntheses, Structures and reactivities of a new three-Coordinate Complexes of Rhodium: [(PPh2Trop(CCSiMe3)2)Rh(L)][OTf]
  • 2007-2009: Post doctoral research, Texas A&M University, USA, Supervisor: Prof. John A. Gladysz - Syntheses, Structures of new type of PentafluorophenylPlatinium Complexes with Long sp Carbon Chains
  • 2009-2010: Post doctoral research, Ecole Nationale Supérieure de Chimie de Paris (ENSCP), France. Supervisor: Dr. Virginie Vidal - Catalytic Asymmetric Hydrogenation
  • Since 2010: Associate professor at IUT Lannion, Institut des Sciences Chimiques de Rennes, UMR 6226 CNRS, University of Rennes 1


Courses taught at IUT, Lannion

  • General Chemistry Recitations & Labs (1st year students)
  • Organic Chemistry II Lectures & Labs (2nd year students)
  • Instrumental Analysis Lectures & labs (2nd year students)

Courses taught at Université Catholique de l’Ouest, Guingamp (2011-2015)

  • Organic Chemistry Lectures (1st year Master students)
  • Industrial Chemistry Lectures (3rd year students)


  • Dr. Alberto Barsella (UMR7604, Univ. Strasbourg): Second Order Non-Linear Optical measurements
  • Dr. Nicolas Le Poul & Laurianne Wojcik (UMR6521, Univ. de Brest) : Cyclic Voltametry measurements
  • Pr. Jean-Yves Saillard & Dr. Samia Kahlal (UMR6226, Univ. Rennes 1): Computational Analyses
  • Dr. Denis Jacquemin (UMR 6230, Univ. Nantes) : Computational Analyses
  • Dr. Fabrice Odobel & Dr. Yann Pelligrin (UMR 6230, Univ. Nantes): Preparation of dye solar cells and measurements of photovoltaic performances.
  • Dr. Thierry Roisnel & Dr. Vincent Dorcet (UMR6226, Univ. Rennes 1): Single-crystal X-ray Diffraction characterizations
  • Pr. John A. Gladysz (Texas A&M, USA): Synthesis of platinum complexes

Research interests

My research is centered on the development of various asymmetrical π-conjugated heterocyclic push-pull organometallic compounds, involving D-π-M-π-A combinations. I am particularly interested in the synthesis of transition metal acetylide complexes, such as platinum or ruthenium-diacetylide-diphenylpyran complexes, and in the study of their properties, and performances as molecular systems for Dye-Sensitized Solar Cells (DSSCs), and Non-Linear Optics (NLO).

Schematic representation of complex design

Push–pull diacetylide platinum complexes in TiO2 based dye-sensitized solar cells

In this project, we combined the proaromatic pyranylidene ligand with bis-acetylide platinum units and systematically varied the nature (i.e. phenyl, furan, bi- and trithiophene) and the length of the spacer connected to the cyano acrylic anchoring group. These complexes were prepared, fully characterized and evaluated in TiO2-based DSSCs. The highest photoconversion efficiency (PCE) obtained reached 4.7% for the complexes bearing the trithiophene segment. This PCE value is among the highest efficiencies reported for platinum complexes in DSSCs.

Dalton Trans., 2014, 43,11233-11242

Platinum center in the π-conjugated core of push–pull chromophores for Non-Linear Optics (NLO)

This project deals with the study of second-order NLO properties on a new series of platinum complexes D–π-Pt–π-A associating pyranylidene electron-donating (D) groups and diazine electron-attracting (A) groups separated by a platinum bisacetylide fragment and π-conjugated linkers. The properties of some of these complexes were compared to those of their purely organic counterparts. Structure–property relationships were established and demonstrated that the incorporation of platinum in the π-conjugated core of the push–pull chromophores significantly enhanced the second-order NLO responses. The best μβEFISH values have been observed for a platinum complex bearing a tert-butyl group on the electron-donating pyranylidene and a N-methylated vinylpyrimidium electron-attracting fragment on the other side.

Dalton Trans., 2017, 46, 3059–3069

Second-order Non-Linear optical properties of Push–pull D–π–Ru–π–A chromophores

Recently, we developed an original one-pot synthesis route for the preparation of a new series of D-π–Ru–π–A ruthenium complexes associating pyranylidene as electron-donating (D) groups and formaldehyde, indane-1,3-dione, pyrimidine or pyrimidinium as electron-attracting (A) groups separated by a ruthenium bis-acetylide fragment and π-conjugated linkers. The complexes containing pyrimidinium fragments exhibit remarkably high second-order NLO responses with unprecedented μβ values (14000 × 10−48 esu), placing them among the more efficient NLO alkynyl metal complexes reported so far.

Dalton Trans., 2018, 47, 3965–3975

Publications referenced in HAL