Jean-Pierre Launay

Launay, Jean-Pierre
Position Department / Business Unit
Director of the CEMES Centre d'Elaboration de Materiaux et d'Etudes Structurales (CEMES)
Institution Disciplines
"Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS)" Electronics Chemistry
City State / Provence
31 055 TOULOUSE Cedex
Country Website
France link
+33 (0) 5 62 25 79 99

Present interest : Nanosciences, nanomachines, in particular the construction of a rotary molecular motor. This last challenge is tackled from the synthesis of ruthenium complex with a “piano stool” structure. Further functionalization is presently performed to graft the “legs” on an insulating surface, so that the upper part would be able to rotate under the influence of a suitable excitation.

Research Interests :

• Mixed valence compounds (1974 - 1983) : studies on reduced polyoxometallates or other mixed valence compounds to understand electron delocalization and electron transfer processes, both thermal and optical.
• Molecular Electronics (since 1983) : long distance electron transfer and molecular switching, using ruthenium complexes as model systems. Systematic studies were in particular performed on series of binuclear mixed valence complexes of increasing length. The intervalence electron transfer process was observed for distances up to 20 Å, and the rate of decay of the electronic interaction with distance was measured. The switching effect was demonstrated using a specially devised bimetallic system in which a photochromic part (dithienylethene) was intercalated on the electron transfer path. More recently, a new way to characterize electron transfer was used : the measurement, by electrochemical impedance spectroscopy, of the electron transfer rate through a self-assembled monolayer. Finally, present work (2005) deals with the possibility to switch a photochromic system by an electrochemical process.

Career Highlights

Born 1944, in Pyrénées-Atlantiques, France. Then entered "Ecole Normale Supérieure de St Cloud" in 1963. Agrégation de Chimie in 1967.

Thesis in 1974 at Université Pierre et Marie Curie (Paris VI) on the Electrochemistry of Tungsten polyanions (especially metatungstate)

Assistant from 1967 at Université Pierre et Marie Curie, then Professor from 1983 to 1990.

Director of the CNRS "Groupement de Recherche" "Molecular Electronics", 1989-96

Professor at Université Paul Sabatier, Toulouse, since 1990.

Coordinator of a "Human Capital and Mobility" network of the European community "Electron and Energy Transfer in Model Systems", 1994-1998.

Also Professor at "Institut Universitaire de France" since 1998 (a special position with more time for research).

Director of the CEMES, since January 2003.


Prize of the Coordination Chemistry Division of the French Chemical Society (1992)
Prize "Paul Pascal" of the French Academy of Sciences (1996)
Senior Member of "Institut Universitaire de France" since 1998 (see above)
"Chevalier des Palmes Académiques" in 2001 (a distinction for teaching activities)

By this Researcher

Related Content