Author of the Week: Dr. François Tournilhac

François Tournilhac received a Master’s degree in engineering at Ecole Centrale des Arts et Manufactures, Paris (1984) and PhD in Physical Chemistry at Université Pierre et MarieCurie, Paris (1989). Since 1989 he is a researcher at the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), As a soft matter chemist, he has been working to design materials and demonstrate new effects in organic semiconductors, liquid crystals, block copolymers and composites. Presently, he is working in the team of Ludwik Leibler, Soft Matter and Chemistry at ESPCI-ParisTech, where he is developing new activities in polymer and supramolecular chemistry with a double ambition: design new materials with unusual combination of properties and in the same time identifying practical synthetic routes to make them faisible at the industrial scale.

Website of the lab:

What was your inspiration in becoming a chemist?

The inspiration came to me after studying engineering without particular skills in chemistry. I wanted to do research, it seemed to me that it was a good way to remain a student during my whole life but I also wanted to make something creative by my own hands. Then I remembered these practical organic chemistry sessions of my undergraduate studies where azo dyes or aspirin are synthesized from raw material and this eventually determined my choice to launch out into chemistry.

What was the motivation to write your Polymer Chemistry article?

To the best of our knowledge, the topic of this paper, a supramolecular initiator, is a new concept. We apply it for the cationic polymerization of a commercial epoxy resin with practical application in mind but we think that this concept can be adapted to most of the polymerization processes that involve an initiation step. The motivation was also to highlight a leading work, made by a PhD student.

Why did you choose Polymer Chemistry to publish your work? (DOI: 10.1039/C2PY21140H)

Because we are ourselves readers of Polymer Chemistry and we wanted to reach a broad audience. In addition, we had excellent experience of our previous submissions to this journal: very constructive reviewers comments which helped a lot to improve the quality of the papers as well as very quick publication.

In which upcoming conferences may our readers meet you?

I will be present in Batsheva de Rothschild Seminar on Soft Matter and Biophysics in Israël in February and in the International Conference on Self Healing Materials in Belgium in June.

How do you spend your spare times?

Drawing and etching

Which profession would you choose if you were not a scientist?


Cyrille Boyer is a guest web-writer for Polymer Chemistry. He is currently a Senior Lecturer and an ARC-Future Fellow at the Australian Centre for NanoMedicine (School of Chemical Engineering, University of New South Wales (Australia)).

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter
Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)