Research fields


Group Members


Selected Publications


CV and resume




Metathesis: from Chauvin to Green Chemistry




Gold Nanoparticles


Organometallic Chemistry and Catalysis


Nanoparticle Catalysis




Authored and Edited Books and Special Issues


Courses for Students


Useful links



Didier Astruc, Professor, Member of the Institut Universitaire de France,
Institut des Sciences Moléculaires, UMR CNRS 5255,
Université Bordeaux I , 351, Cours de la Libération, 33405 Talence Cedex, FRANCE
Tél. (33), Fax. (33),
e-mail :

Research Fields and Interests


Nano-materials: synthesis, functionalization and applications of metallodendrimers and nanoparticles as vectors for drug delivery, regenerable sensors, green catalysts and molecular electronics devices. We are interested in the synthesis and applications of functionalized dendrimers, [1] metallodendrimers [1,2] and nanoparticles, [3-5] especially water-soluble ones for their uses as regenerable catalysts [2,4] under “Green Chemistry” conditions [4] (metathesis, Pd-catalysis, oxidation) and as biosensors (DNA fragments) and vectors for selective drug delivery. [5] Collaborations on the biological and medicinal and physical sides are underlying especially concerning toxicological and optical aspects for diagnosis. [5].New nano-materials at the frontier between homogeneous and heterogeneous catalysis are actively designed and searched from the points of view of their synthesis, physical properties and sensor and vectors properties. [6] We have been working on dendrimers and metallodendrimers since our finding of one of the first reaction iterations (namely the series of mild deprotonation-alkylation of polymethylbengenes via temporary organo-iron activation). The latter involved an original strategy for the synthesis of giant dendrimers, actually the largest known dendrimers, far beyond the de Gennes dense packing limit. [7] Design and functionalization of nanodendrimers is presently conducted towards a variety of applications.[8] Among the most remarkable applications of these dendrimers developed in our laboratory is their use as sensors and templates for the design and engineering of biocompatible gold nanoparticles, [9] and as molecular micelles for catalytic [10] and biomedical use.[5]

In parallel, we are pursuing the investigations of molecular electronic properties of nanomaterials serving as electron reservoirs or molecular batteries [11] using the attachment of our sandwich-shape electron-reservoir 19-electron complexes RCpFe(arene) and cobaltocenes RCpCoCp linked to the nanomaterials through the Cp substituent R. This strategy is now being extending to other metallodendritic nanomaterials for various optoelectronic applications in nanotechnology.[12]


1. Catalysis Inside Dendrimers. D. Astruc, D. Wang, C Deraedt, L. Liang, R. Ciganda, J. Ruiz, Synthesis 2015, 47, 2017-2031. Dendrimers Designed for Functions: From Physical, Photophysical and Supramolecular Properties to Applications in Sensing, Catalysis, Molecular Electronics, Photonics and Nanomedicine. D. Astruc, E. Boisselier, C. Ornelas, Chem. Rev. 2010, 110, (4), 1857–1959.

2. Dendritic Catalysts and Dendrimers in Catalysis. D. Astruc, F. Chardac, Chem. Rev . 2001, 101, 2991–3031. Metallodendritic Catalysts: Recent Progress. D. Méry, D. Astruc, Coord. Chem. Rev. 2006, 250, 1965 – 1979. The Efficient Copper(I)(hexabenzyltren) Catalyst and Dendritic Analogues for Green “Click” Reactions between Azides and Alkynes in Organic Solvent and in Water. Positive Dendritic Effects and Monometallic Mechanism. L. Liang, J. Ruiz, D. Astruc, Adv. Syn. Catal. 2011, 353, 3434 – 3450.

3. Gold Nanoparticles: Assembly, Supramolecular Chemistry, Quantum-size Related Properties, and Applications towards Biology, Catalysis and Nanotechnology. M.-C. Daniel, D. Astruc, Chem. Rev. 2004, 104, 293 – 346. Nanoparticle Catalysis. D. Astruc, F. Lu, J. Ruiz. Angew. Chem., Int. Ed. 2005, 44, 7852 – 7872. Palladium Nanoparticles as Efficient Green Homogeneous and Heterogeneous Carbon-Carbon Coupling Pre-catalysts: A Unifying View. D. Astruc, Inorg. Chem. 2007, 46, 1884 – 1894.

4. : “Homeopathic” Palladium Nanoparticle Catalysis of Cross Carbon–Carbon Coupling Reactions. C. Deraedt, D. Astruc, Acc. Chem. Res. 2014, 47, 494-503. .

5. Gold Nanoparticles in Nanomedicine : Peparations, Diagnostic, Therapy and Toxicity. E. Boisselier, D. Astruc, Chem. Soc. Rev. 2009, 38 , 1759–1782. Encapsulation of docetaxel into PEGylated gold nanoparticles for vectorization to cancer cells and in vitro results. A. François, A. Laroche, N. Pinaud, L. Salmon, J. Ruiz, J. Robert, D. Astruc, ChemMedChem 2011, 6, 2003-2008. Application of Gold Nanoparticles to the Diagnostic and Therapy of Cancer. A. Llevot, D. Astruc, Chem. Soc. Rev. 2012, 41, 242 – 257.

6. The Copper(I)-catalyzed Alkyne-Azide Cycloaddition (CuAAC) “Click” Reaction and its Applications. An Overview. L. Liang, D. Astruc, Coord. Chem. Rev. 2011, 255, 2933 – 2945. Click Dendrimers and Triazole-Related Aspects: Catalysts, Mechanism, Synthesis, and Functions. A Bridge between Dendritic Architectures and Nanomaterials. D. Astruc, L. Liang, A. Rapakousiou, J. Ruiz. Acc. Chem. Res. 2012. 45 (4), 630-640.

7. Organoiron Routes to a New Dendron for Fast Dendritic Syntheses Using Divergent and Convergent Methods. V. Sartor, L. Djakovitch, J.-L. Fillaut, F. Moulines, F. Neveu, V. Marvaud, J. Guittard, J.-C. Blais, D. Astruc, J. Am. Chem. Soc. 1999, 121, 2929 – 2930. Construction of Giant Dendrimers Using a Tripodal Buiding Block. J. Ruiz, G. Lafuente J. Ruiz, G. Lafuente, S. Marcen, C. Ornelas, S. Lazare, E. Cloutet, J.-C. Blais, D. Astruc. J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2003, 125, 7250 – 7257. Organometallic Chemistry at the Nanoscale: Dendrimers for Redox Processes and Catalysis. D. Astruc. Pure Appl. Chem. 2003, 75, 461 – 48.

8. Cross Olefin Metathesis for the Selective Functionalization, Ferrocenylation, and Solubilization in Water of Olefin-terminated Dendrimers, Polymers and Gold Nanoparticles and for a Divergent Dendrimer Construction. C. Ornelas, D. Méry, E. Cloutet, J. Ruiz, D. Astruc , J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2008, 130, 1495 – 1506. Ferrocenyl-terminated Redox Stars: Synthesis and Electrostatic Effects in Mixed-valence Stabilization. A. K. Diallo, C. Absalon, J. Ruiz, D. Astruc , J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2011, 133, 629 – 641. Multi-function Redox Polymers: Electrochrome, Polyelectrolyte, Sensor, Electrode Modifier, Nanoparticle Stabilizer and Catalyst Template. C. Deraedt, A.Rapakousiou, Y. Wang, L. Salmon, M. Bousquet, D. Astruc, Angew. Chem., Int. Ed. 2014, 53, 8445-8449.

9. Encapsulation and Stabilization of Gold Nanoparticles with “Click” Polyethyleneglycol Dendrimers. E. Boisselier, A. K. Diallo, L. Salmon, C. Ornelas, J. Ruiz, D. Astruc J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2010, 132, 2729–2742. Nanoscopic Assemblies Between Supramolecular Redox Active Metallodendrons and Gold Nanoparticles: Syntheses, Charaterization and Selective Recognition of H2PO4 -, HSO4 - and Adenosine-5’-Triphosphate (ATP2-) Anions. M.-C. Daniel, J. Ruiz, S. Nlate, J.-C. Blais, D. Astruc. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2003, 125, 2617 – 2628.

10. Dendrimer-induced Molecular Catalysis in Water: the Example of Olefin Metathesis. A. K. Diallo, E. Boisselier, L. Liang, J. Ruiz, D. Astruc, Chem. Eur. J. 2010, 16, 11832–11835. : Recyclable Catalytic Dendrimer Nanoreactor for Part-Per-Million CuI Catalysis of “Click” Chemistry in Water. C. Deraedt, N. Pinaud, D. Astruc, J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2014, 136, 12092–12098. Magnetic and Dendritic Catalysts. D. Wang, C. Deraedt, J. Ruiz, D. Astruc, Acc. Chem. Res. 2015, 48, 1871-1880.

11. Giant Dendritic Molecular Electrochrome Batteries with Ferrocenyl and Pentamethylferrocenyl Termini. C. Ornelas, J. Ruiz, C. Belin, D. Astruc, J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2009, 131, 590 – 601. From Electron-Reservoir Complexes to Dendritic Molecular Nanobatteries. D. Astruc, Chem. Asian J. 2011, 6, 1679 – 1687.

12. Electron-Transfer Processes in Dendrimers and their Implication in Biology, Catalysis, Sensing and Nanotechnology. D. Astruc. Nature Chemistry, 2012, 40, 255 - 267.

Books : Autor

1. D. Astruc. "Electron-Transfer and Radical Processes in Transition-Metal Chemistry" VCH, New York, 1995 (630 pages), ISBN 1-56081-642-2, available at Wiley.

2. D. Astruc. "Chimie Organométallique”, EDP Sciences, 2000 (550 pages), ISBN 2-86883-493-0 with corrected exercises - available at EDP Sciences, 7, avenue du Hoggar, Parc d’Activités de Courtaboeuf, BP 112, 91944 Les Ulis Cedex A, France (also available in Spanish: Quimica Organometallica, Reverte, 2003)

3. D. Astruc. “Organometallic Chemistry and Catalysis”. Springer, 2007 (608 pages), ISBN 878-3-540-46128-9 with corrected exercices references and summaries of each chapter– history – fundamental concepts – molecular orbitals – all metals - bio-organometallic chemistry - catalysis - applications in organic synthesis (pharmacy and natural products).


Books edited


1. Electron transfer in chemistry. Wiley-VCH, Weinheim, 2001, Chief Editor V. Balzani. Vol. 2 Editor D. Astruc: Organometallic and Inorganic Systems (Part 2, pp 581-998), Wiley- ISBN 2-527-29912-2.

2. Modern Arene Chemistry. Ed. D. Astruc, Wiley-VCH, Weinheim, 2002, ISBN 3-527-30489-4.

3. Nanoparticles and Catalysis. Ed. D. Astruc, Wiley-VCH, Weinheim, 2008, ISBN 978-3-527-31572-7