Benedikt (Ben) Lassalle-Kaiser

Benedikt was trained as a molecular chemist from the Universities of Strasbourg (BSc) and Paris-Sud (MSc) in France. He completed his PhD at the Institut de Chimie Moléculaire et des Matériaux d'Orsay of the Université Paris-Sud under the guidance of Dr. Elodie Anxolabéhère-Mallart and Pr. Ally Aukauloo. His research project was focused on the synthesis and characterization of high valent manganese complexes, models of the Oxygen Evolving Complex of Photosystem II. 

He did a first post-doc with Dr. A. W. Rutherford at the Commissariat à l'Energie Atomique, where he worked on the electrochemistry and photoelectrochemistry of Photosystem II. In 2009, he moved to the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in the group of Drs. Junko Yano and Vittal Yachandra. During this period, he worked on both natural and artificial photosynthesis using synchrotron and free electron laser sources. He has collaborated with several groups from the DOE-funded energy hub Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis (Pr. P. Alivisatos, Pr. C. Chang, U.C. Berkeley) and from other universities in the USA (Pr. T. Jaramillo, Stanford University; Pr. D. Nocera, Harvard University). His activities in the field led him to be the co-chair of the Gordon Research Seminar on Renewable Energy : Solar Fuels in 2012. 

In 2014, he was hired as a beamline scientist on the LUCIA beamline of the Synchrotron SOLEIL, where he develops spectroelectrochemical techniques to couple X-ray spectroscopies with electrocatalytic reactions. His research focuses on the study of materials and molecules for energy-related electrocatalytic reactions such as the OER, HER or CO2RR. From 2014 to 2021, he headed the microfluidic laboratory of Synchrotron SOLEIL, which aim is to combine microfluidic systems with synchrotron-based X-ray techniques. In 2022, he was awarded a fellowship from the University of Strasbourg Institute of Advanced Studies, to study the synthesis of hybrid organic-inorganic perovskites under microfluidic conditions using X-ray techniques and electron microscopy.  

2004 BSc in Chemistry, Université Louis Pasteur, Strasbourg, France

2005 MSc in Chemistry, Université Paris-Sud, Orsay, France

2008 PhD in Chemistry, Université Paris-Sud, Orsay, France

2019 Habilitation in Chemistry, université Paris-Saclay, Saclay, France

2008 - 2009 Post-doctoral fellow at the Commissariat à l'Energie Atomique (CEA) in Saclay, France. 

2009 - 2012 Post-doctoral fellow at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) in Berkeley, CA, USA.

2012 - 2014 Post-doctoral fellow at Synchrotron SOLEIL in Gif-sur-Yvette, France. 

2014 - present Beamline Scientist at the LUCIA Beamline at Synchrotron SOLEIL.

2015 - 2021 Responsible for the Microfluidic Laboratory at Synchrotron SOLEIL.

2022 - present USIAS Fellow at the IPCMS at the Université de Strasbourg, France.

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Current group members

Dr. Claire Jolly

Claire was trained as an engineer at the École Polytechnique Féminine in Montpellier, France. Under the guidance of Dr. Adrian Carretero-Genevrier, she obtained her PhD from the Université de Montpellier in 2022. She worked at the Institut d'Électronique et des Systèmes, where she developed microfabrication processes resulting in two piezoelectric alpha quartz-based microsensors with different morphologies, a cantilever and a membrane. Her work combined cleanroom microfabrication techniques on Si with new methods of manufacturing epitaxial functional oxides with sol-gel chemical processes. Her thesis led to two publications and one patent.

In 2023, she was awarded the Renatech thesis prize for her work on the development of innovative piezoelectric micro-sensors. She is joining the team as an USIAS post-doctoral fellow and will be located at the IPCMS in Strasbourg in the team of Pr. Ovidiu Ersen. She will work on the design of microfluidic cells for X-ray spectroscopic analysis of synthetic reactions.

Besides exploring new scientific fields Claire enjoys reading, hiking and dancing. 

Mr. Victor Chemineau

Victor obtained a technical diploma in Physics from the University de Rouen and an engineering degree from the Université Paris Cité in France. He joined the group as a engineer for the LUMA PEPR project, where SOLEIL acts as a plateform for the study of photo(electro)catalytic systems. He  is in charge of the design, fabrication and test of photo(electro)catalytic cells for in situ/operando X-ray spectroscopic experiments on photocatalytic materials. He will specifically focus on vacuum-compatible systems compatible with low-energy X-ray techniques.

Besides designing photochemical cells, Victor plays basketball

Mr. Rayan Smaali

Rayan was trained in IT and electric control at the Université Paris-Saclay in Cachan, France. During his undergraduate studies, he participated to the French Robotic Championship, developing a motorized arm  and its human-machine interface. He did and internship in the FREEMOVE startup, where he worked on the design and programming of a test-bench for a brushless motor. He joined SOLEIL in 2022 as a student from the Polytech Paris-Saclay engineering school (specialized in robotics) to work on the automatization of a time-resolved microfluidic system for the preparation of biological cryo-EM samples.

When he is done controlling and fixing robots, Rayan enjoys rock climbing.

Joint students

Ms. Marie-Sophie Dias Fernandes

Marie-Sophie obtained her BSc in Physics from the Université Paul Sabatier in Toulouse, France. She then joined the Master programm "Materials for Energy and transportation" from the Université Paris-Saclay, France and did her Master's thesis on the study of Lithium Vanadate all solid batteries at the Commissariat à l'Energie Atomique in Saclay. She joined the group as a PhD student in 2022 to study the electrochemical behavior and structure of heterofunctional HER electrocatalysts, developed in the context of the HYKALIN ANR project. She shares her time between SOLEIL and the Laboratoire de Chimie Moléculaire at the Institut Polytechnique de Paris, under the guidance of Dr. Cédric Tard

When she is not running cylcic voltamograms , Marie-Sophie enjoys playing basketball as well as other sports.

Ms. Aude Salamé

Aude obtained her BSc in chemistry from Sorbonne Université in Paris, France. She obtained her MSc in electrochemistry and nanosciences from the Université Paris Cité and  Ecole Normale Supérieure in Paris. Her Master’s thesis was devoted to the electrocatalytic reduction of CO to methanol by molecular catalysts at the Laboratoire d’Electrochimie Moléculaire from the Université Paris Cité.

She is currently a 2nd year PhD student in the REACT team of the Laboratoire d'Electrochimie Moléculaire, working under the supervision of Dr. Elodie Anxolabéhère-Mallart, Prof. Marc Robert and Benedikt Lassalle-Kaiser on the mechanistic investigation of CO2 electroreduction to CO catalyzed by iron porphyrins. Her goal is mainly to identify reaction intermediates by means of spectro-electrochemical techniques such as Infra-red or X-Ray Absorption spectroscopies.

When she is not reducing CO2, Aude enjoys playing the piano, reading, doing fitness and hiking.

Former members