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Xavier Carrier



The research conducted is aimed at the molecular design of heterogeneous catalysts. It relies on the investigation of : i) the speciation of the precursor of the active phase, ii) its interaction with an oxide surface (the support) and iii) its characterization by spectroscopic methods at the molecular level all along the catalyst history (oxide / liquid and oxide / gas interfaces). The general framework aims to demonstrate that the role of the support (alumina, silica, titanium dioxide, zirconia ...) is much wider than a simple physical dispersant since it can act as a reagent, ligand and reservoir (nanoreactor). This research is based on the combination of different molecular-scale spectroscopic techniques (Raman, XPS, IR ...). Synchrotron radiation and EXAFS occupy a central place. The research directions developed over the last few years focus on the use of model systems for the elaboration of heterogeneous catalysts. This methodology is based on a surface science approach to model the behavior of real catalysts by developing catalysts under ambient conditions by conventional deposition methods on single crystalline surfaces. This approach, combining established preparation methods and ideal surfaces (typical of ultra-high vacuum), can be denoted aqueous-phase surface science. Investigation of the solid / liquid interface (structuration, speciation, adsorption modes, etc...) for the development and / or reactivity of heterogeneous catalytic systems constitutes a major development. The main applications are directed towards the production of fuels from fossil or renewable resources (Hydrotreatment, Fischer-Trospch synthesis).

Function and attachment

Professor / UPMC


2011 Professor of Inorganic Chemistry & Catalysis

2009 Habilitation “The oxide support in heterogeneous catalysis : a versatile partner”, 2009. UPMC.

1999-2010 Maître de Conférences (Assistant and Associate Professor) University Pierre et Marie Curie – Paris

1998-1999 Postdoctoral fellow: Department of Geological & Environmental Sciences Stanford University, California (U.S.A.) X-ray based techniques for the characterization of contaminant transport in the environment.

1995-1998 Ph.D. “Molecular approach toward heterogeneous catalyst preparation : insight from geochemistry.” with Prof. M. Che, Université Pierre et Marie Curie – Paris



ORCID Xavier Carrier

Selected publications
  • Ligand-promoted alumina dissolution in the preparation of MoOx/γ-Al2O3 catalysts: evidence for the formation and deposition of an anderson-type alumino heteropolymolybdate. X. Carrier, J. F. Lambert,* M. Che J. Am. Chem. Soc. 1997, 119, 10137-10146
  • The state of the iron promoter in tungstated zirconia catalysts. X. Carrier,* P. Lukinskas, S. Kuba, L. Stievano, F. E. Wagner, M. Che, H. Knözinger,* ChemPhysChem, 2004, 5(8), 1191-1199
  • Confinement in Nanopores at the Oxide/Water Interface: Modification of Alumina Adsorption Properties. M. Baca, X. Carrier, J. Blanchard* Chem. Eur. J., 2008, 14, 6142-6148 (impact factor 5,8)
  • Surface Science Approach to the Solid-Liquid Interface : Surface-Dependent Precipitation of Ni(OH)2 on α-Al2O3 Surfaces. A. Tougerti, I. Llorens, F. D'acapito, E. Fonda, J.L. Hazemann, Y. Joly, D. Thiaudière, M. Che, X. Carrier* Angew. Chem. Int. Ed., 2012, 51, 7697 –7701 ESRF et Soleil Highlights 2012.
  • Aqueous-Phase Preparation of Model HDS Catalysts on Planar Alumina Substrates : Support Effect on Mo Adsorption and Sulfidation. C. Bara, L. Plais, K. Larmier, E. Devers, M. Digne, A.-F. Lamic-Humblot, G.D. Pirngruber, X. Carrier* J. Am. Chem. Soc. , 2015, 137, 15915-28 (impact factor 12,1) JACS Spotlight (J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2015, 137, 15595−15595).




  • Since January 2016 : Head of the Material Institute of Paris Center (IMPC, FR 2482). UPMC-CNRS Research institute gathering 6 laboratories in Material Science (UPMC, Collège de France, ESPCI) : LISE, LCMCP, LRS, LAMS, PHENIX and SIMM. 
  • Since 2014: Coordination of one of the 5 research areas of the Laboratoire de Réactivité de Surface : Reactivity at the solid-liquid interface
  • Organizer of CatPrep2014 and CatPrep2016, European Summer School on Catalyst Preparation, Vogüé (France).
  • Member of the peer-review committee « Chemistry & Physico-Chemistry, In situ reactivity, Soft matter » at the Synchrotron Soleil.


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