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Fabrice BRUNEL

Maître de Conférences

Research themes / Teaching activities

Research themes

My expertise focuses on physical chemistry of polymers and colloids, exploring the following aspects :

  • Physicochemistry of copolymer emulsions and self-assemblies.
  • Stability / aggregation of colloidal systems.
  • Physico-chemistry of surfaces and interfaces
  • Structures - properties relationships

To conduct my research I rely on two complementery techniques : Synchrotron X-ray Scattering and Molecular Dynamics (gromacs, lammps, CP2K, Quantum Espresso).


Teaching activities

Formal lectures :

  • Initation à la modélisation en physico-chimie (UCBL)
  • Synthèse macromoléculaire (CPE Lyon)

Directed studies, and practical work : IUT chimie Lyon and Licence Chimie UCBL




Current projects

I am projet coordinator of the ANR POEM - Model polyethylene particles for the study of micro/nano-plastics in the oceans – which includes 4 partners : the CP2M, the Institute of Molecules and Materials of Mans (IMMM), the Center Technique Industriel de la Plasturgie et des Composites (CT-IPC) and the Marine Environmental Sciences Laboratory (LEMAR).

Thanks to their many advantages plastics have become ubiquitous in our society. Their low recyclability and poor end-of-life management lead to 10 to 20 million tons released into the environment each year. Because plastics degrade slowly, they persist in the environment where they are fragmented into smaller particle notably through UV-degradation. Over the last decades, micro/nano-plastics (MP/NP) have contaminated the Ocean and marine species at all levels of the food chain, from one pole to another down to the deep sea. Polyethylene (PE) is the most widely used plastic and accounts for 90% of NP/MP, yet most research on NP/MP uses commercially available polystyrene particles. The central goal of this project is to produce the most realistic NP/MP of PE possible (by grinding, microemulsification and ethylene emulsion polymerization) to better assess the two main mechanisms of toxicity identified to date: i) identify the most toxic additives in order to consider their substitution and ii) nanotoxicity (damage to biological membranes caused by their large specific surface area). Finally, in order to have the most realistic models possible, we aim to reproduce on our particles the alteration of polymer properties (photodegradation) as well as the formation of a biofilm on the surface.

Partner of ANR DEFINED - Synthesis of Hybrid Nanoparticles for Electrophoretic Display Devices with Electronic Inks



Partner, links and extras

X-ray sources : ESRF (BM02 beamline) and SOLEIL (SWING beamline) synchrotron, ENS Lyon (Xeuss-3.0, Xenocs) and MATEIS (SAXS bench)

Computer cluster : equipement of the research group ITEMM (Interface Theory Experience: Mechanism & Modeling) from the ICBMS (Institut de chimie et biochimie moléculaires et supramoléculaires).


Twitter : FaBrunel (@doc_fab22)



How to join us?

Mailing address

43 Bd du 11 Nov. 1918
(B. P. 82007)
69616 Villeurbanne CEDEX FRANCE

Contact details

+33 (0)4 72 43 17 67 (team PCM)
+33 (0)4 72 43 17 94 (team MMAGICC)
+33 (0)4 72 43 17 56 (Communication)

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