"There’s plenty of room at the bottom" as said Richard Feynman back in 1959, meaning that the future of science was to be found at the nanometer scale.
Yet, chemists were already tilling that soil from centuries, designing and creating materials from atomic and molecular bricks. They are now able to follow and control directly the processes wich govern the growth and the ordering at molecular scale. It is thus possible to probe the properties of materials at the "mesoscale", i.e. between bulk matter and isolated objects, where many unexpected effects show up. Hence nanochemistry aims at synthesizing multiscale materials with hierarchical, ordered and textured structures from molecular sources or nanometer-sized aggregates following a bottom-up approach.
Nanoparticles, nanotubes, nanowires are thus the brick and mortar of foams stabilized without any surfactant, of transparent and conducting organic membranes, of light-emitting films... thanks to the fine mastering of their synthesis, their shape, their surface chemistry and their self-ordering. The chemistry teams from C’Nano IdF are targeting towards new energy solutions or environmental issues. They also develop novel characterization methods to probe the structure, the composition and the reactivity of nano-objects and nanomaterials at the nanoscale.