Profile

I am a distinguished professor of physical chemistry at Université Clermont Auvergne and a senior member of the Institut Universitaire de France.

The central concept of my research is that of designer liquid: a solvent, a reaction or separation medium, an electrolyte, a lubricant, etc. that is tailored in view of specific properties. Starting from an understanding of how molecules interact and organise, I seek to establish structure-property relations enabling a rational design for applications in sustainable chemical processes and in devices. I work on two main topics:

  • Alternative solvents and reaction media for a greener and more sustainable chemistry, where a better understanding of physical chemistry of novel, complex liquids is required for the development of cleaner processes. I study ionic liquids and deep eutectic solvents to perform separations and to convert renewable biomass feedstocks into value-added intermediates.
  • Interactions of liquids with nanomaterials, such as nanoparticles, nanotubes and atomically-thin two-dimensional materials (graphene, MoS2, etc.), with the objective of designing solvents for exfoliation and electrolytes for devices including supercapacitors, liquid-gated transistors and sensors.

My field of research is molecular thermodynamics: I combine molecular simulations and experimental physical chemistry to study non-covalent interactions, structure and dynamics of fluids, materials and their interfaces.

I have authored 140 scientific papers that were cited more than 8600 times in the literature (h-index 46). One of my papers was cited more than 1000 times, four more than 500 times and thirteen more than 100 times.

I work in the Molecular Thermodynamics of Ionic Liquids group, a collaborative team within the Institute of Chemistry of Clermont-Ferrand, a research unit of the CNRS and the University of Clermont Auvergne.

During the 2014-15 academic year I was a visiting scholar at MIT’s Department of Chemical Engineering. My research in collaboration with the Blankschtein group is about exfoliation of two-dimensional nanomaterials.

I am an editor of The Journal of Chemical Thermodynamics.

I founded and headed the CNRS Network (Groupement de Recherches) on Molecular and Process Thermodynamics that brings together 30 research groups in France on this discipline between physical chemistry and chemical engineering.

I can be reached at:

  • agilio dot padua at uca dot fr
  • apadua at mit dot edu