Laboratoire Léon Brillouin

UMR12 CEA-CNRS, Bât. 563 CEA Saclay

91191 Gif sur Yvette Cedex, France

+33-169085241 llb-sec@cea.fr

BD diffusons les neutrons

Faits marquants scientifiques 2020

02 septembre 2020

Marine Le Goas, Tom Roussel, Maria Kalbazova, David Carrière, Elodie Barruet, Valerie Geertsen, Giulia C. Fadda, Fabienne Testard, Geraldine Carrot and Jean-Philippe Renault

Nanomedicines are considered as promising therapeutics for cancer treatment. However, clinical translation is still scarce, partly because their biological behavior is not well understood. Extracting general guidelines from the great variety of nanoparticles and conditions studied is indeed difficult, and relevant techniques are lacking to obtain in situ information. Here, both issues are solved by combining versatile model nanoparticles with in situ tools based on small-angle scattering techniques (SAS). The strategy was to develop a library of nanoparticles and perform systematic study of their interactions with biological systems. Considering the promising properties of gold nanoparticles as cancer therapeutics, polymethacrylate-grafted gold nanoparticles were chosen as models. Modulation of polymer chemistry was shown to change the surface properties while keeping the same structure for all nanoparticles. This unity allowed reliable comparison to extract general principles, while the synthesis versatility enabled to fine-tune the nanoparticles surface properties, especially through copolymerization, and thus to optimize their biological behavior. Two specific aspects were particularly examined: colloidal stability and cell uptake. Positive charges and hydrophobicity were identified as key parameters influencing toxicity and internalization. In situ SAS gave valuable information about nanoparticles evolution in biologically relevant environments. Good colloidal stability was thereby shown in cell culture media, while intracellular transformation and quantity of nanoparticles were monitored, highlighting the potential of these techniques for nanomedicines studies.

https://doi.org/10.1039/d0tb01167c

 

23 juin 2020

We show by X-ray and neutron small-angle scattering that gold nanoparticles with controlled sizes and morphologies can be obtained by the metallic reduction of AuCl4 ions trapped in 3D organic molds by X-ray radiolysis. The molds are spherical frozen micelles of polystyrene-b-poly(dimethylaminoethyl methacrylate) (PS-b-PDMAEMA) block copolymer in acidic aqueous solution with a PS spherical core surrounded by a corona of PDMAEMA chains in good solvent. The behavior of micelles is controlled by the [AuCl4]/[DMAEMA] ratio RAuCl4/DMAEMA. At low gold concentration, AuCl4 ions condense on the positively charged DMAEMA moieties without changing the behavior of the PDMAEMA chains. At intermediate gold concentration, the ions induce a progressive contraction of the corona’s chains and dehydration of micelles. At large gold concentration, the corona becomes a fully dry phase loaded with gold ions, which induces micelle aggregation. Radiolysis of the solution by an intense X-ray beam produces different types of gold nanoparticles with respect to RAuCl4/DMAEMA and irradiation time. At RAuCl4/DMAEMA = 0.033, irradiation produces in the first step gold clusters in the micelle corona which in the second step merge to form nanoparticles of a similar size to that of the micelle. Conversely, at RAuCl4/DMAEMA = 0.33, micelles do not operate as templates but only as nucleation zones and large nanoparticles grow outside the micelles.

http://doi.org/10.1021/acs.langmuir.0c00554

01 juin 2020

Editors : Véronique Arluison and Frank Wien

This volume looks at the different spectroscopic and biophysical methods used by researchers to study the structure and folding of RNA, and to follow their interactions with proteins. The chapters in this book cover topics such as single-molecule spectroscopy of multiple RNA species; surface plasmon resonance, MS or microcalorimetry for investigating molecular interactions with RNA; FTIR, SAXS, SANS and SRCD spectroscopies to analyze RNA structure; use of fluorescent nucleotides to map RNA-binding sites on proteins surfaces or CryoEM; and much more. Written in the highly successful Methods in Molecular Biology series format, chapters include introductions to their respective topics, lists of the necessary materials and reagents, step-by-step, readily reproducible laboratory protocols, and tips on troubleshooting and avoiding known pitfalls.

Cutting-edge and comprehensive, RNA Spectroscopy: Methods and Protocols is a valuable resource for anyone interested in learning more about this developing field.

09 mai 2020

Andrew M. Jimenez, Dan Zhao, Kyle Misquitta, Jacques Jestin and Sanat K. Kumar

Understanding the structure and dynamics of the bound polymer layer (BL) that forms on favorably interacting nanoparticles (NPs) is critical to revealing the mechanisms responsible for material property enhancements in polymer nanocomposites (PNCs). Here we use small angle neutron scattering to probe the temporal persistence of this BL in the canonical case of poly(2-vinylpyridine) (P2VP) mixed with silica NPs at two representative temperatures. We have observed almost no long-term reorganization at 150 °C (∼Tg,P2VP + 50 °C), but a notable reduction in the BL thickness at 175 °C. We believe that this apparently strong temperature dependence arises from the polyvalency of the binding of a single P2VP chain to a NP. Thus, while the adsorption–desorption process of a single segment is an activated process that occurs over a broad temperature range, the cooperative nature of requiring multiple segments to desorb converts this into a process that occurs over a seemingly narrow temperature range.

https://doi.org/10.1021/acsmacrolett.8b00877

 

08 avril 2020

Aline Maire du Poset, Mikaela Börjesson, Céline Rameau, Claire Madeleine-Perdrillat, Adrien Lerbret, Camille Loupiac, Fabrice Cousin, Ali Assifaoui

We show here how the structure of polygalacturonate (polyGalA) hydrogels cross-linked by Ca2+ cations via external gelation controls the loading and release rate of beta-lactoglobulin (BLG), a globular protein. Hydrogels prepared from a polyGalA/BLG solution are found to be similar to those obtained from a polyGalA solution in our previous study (Maire du Poset et al. Biomacromolecules 2019, 20 (7), 2864–2872): they exhibit similar transparencies and gradients of mechanical properties and polyGalA concentrations. The nominal BLG/polyGalA ratio of the mixtures is almost recovered within the whole mixed hydrogel despite such strong concentration gradients, except in the part of the hydrogels with the largest mesh size, where more BLG proteins are present. This gradient enables one to tune the amount of protein loaded within the hydrogel. At a local scale, the proteins are distributed evenly within the hydrogel network, as shown by small-angle neutron scattering (SANS). The release of proteins from hydrogels is driven by Fickian diffusion, and the release rate increases with the mesh size of the network, with a characteristic time of a few hours. The specific structure of these polysaccharide-based hydrogels allows for control of both the dosage and the release rate of the loaded protein and makes them good candidates for use as oral controlled-delivery systems.

https://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.biomac.9b01722

 

13 mars 2020

Les matériaux composites, dont on peut faire judicieusement varier la composition, permettent de combiner les propriétés de ses constituants. Ainsi, l’ajout de matériaux inorganiques (ou charge) dans une matrice polymère permet d’améliorer les propriétés d’usage de ces matériaux, telles que leurs propriétés mécaniques, électriques ou optiques, et aussi d'alléger le matériau ou d'en diminuer le coût.

Dans l’industrie du pneumatique, et en particulier dans la formulation des bandes de roulement, on utilise ainsi des matrices élastomères que l'on renforce par des particules de silice. L'étude réalisée au LLB, en collaboration avec Michelin, montrent qu'il est possible de jouer sur les effets d'entropie de mélange et la balance des contributions entropique/enthalpique des interactions, pour piloter la dispersion des particules dans la matrice et contrôler les propriétés macroscopiques des matériaux.

 

13 février 2020

de Oliveira-Silva, Rodrigo; Bélime, Agathe; Le Coeur, Clémence; Chennevière, Alexis; Helary, Arnaud; Cousin, Fabrice; Judeinstein, Patrick; Sakellariou, Dimitrios; Zanotti, Jean-Marc

In soft condensed matter, Small Angle Neutron Scattering (SANS) is a central tool to probe structures with characteristic sizes ranging from 1 to 100 nm. However, when used as a standalone technique, the dynamic properties of the sample are not accessible. Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) is a versatile technique which can easily probe dynamical information. Here, we report on the coupling of a low-field NMR system to a SANS instrument. We show that this original set-up makes it possible to obtain structural information and to simultaneously extract in situ on a same sample, long-range translational diffusion coefficient, T1T1 and T2T2 nuclear spin relaxation times. Such a feature is of major interest when a sample experiences a transient physical state or evolves rapidly. We illustrate the capabilities of alliancing these experimental methods by following the critical temperature-induced phase separation of a concentrated Poly(Methacrylic Acid) solution at its Lower Critical Solution Temperature. The characteristic size related to the domain growth of the polymer-rich phase of the gel is monitored by the evolution of the SANS spectra, while the dynamics of the sol phase (H2O and polymer) is simultaneously characterized by NMR by measuring T1T1, T2T2 and the diffusion coefficient. Great care has been taken to design a cell able to optimize the thermalization of the sample and in particular its equilibration time. Details are given on the sample cell specifically designed and manufactured for these experiments. The acquisition time needed to reach good signal-to-noise ratios, for both NMR and SANS, match: it is of the order of one hour. Altogether, we show that in situ low-field NMR/SANS coupling the NMR is meaningful and is a promising experimental approach.

DOI

11 août 2020

Eni Kume, Patrick Baroni and Laurence Noirez

Thermo-elasticity couples the deformation of an elastic (solid) body to its temperature and viceversa. It is a solid-like property. Highlighting such property in liquids is a paradigm shift: it requires long-range collective interactions that are not considered in current liquid descriptions. The present microthermal studies provide evidence for such solid-like correlations. It is shown that ordinary liquids emit a modulated thermal signal when applying a low frequency (Hz) mechanical shear stress. The liquid splits in several tenths microns wide hot and cold thermal bands, all varying synchronously and separately with the applied stress wave reaching a sizable amplitude of ± 0.2 °C. Thermomechanical coupling challenges fluid dynamics: it reveals that the liquid does not dissipate the energy of shear waves at low frequency, but converts it in non-uniform thermodynamic states. The dynamic thermal changes work in an adiabatic way supporting the hypothesis of the excitation of macroscopic elastic correlations whose range is limited to several tens of microns, in accordance with recent non-extensive theoretical models. The proof of thermomechanical coupling opens the way to a new generation of energy-efficient temperature converters.

https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-69404-1

 

21 juillet 2020

Premakumar Yanda, I. V. Golosovsky, I. Mirebeau, N. V. Ter-Oganessian, Juan Rodríguez-Carvajal and A. Sundaresan

In most of the spin-induced multiferroics, the ferroelectricity is caused by inversion symmetry breaking by complex spin structures of the transition-metal ions. Here, we report the importance of interplay of 4 f -3d magnetic interactions in inducing ferroelectricity in the centrosymmetric (Pnma) green phase compound Gd2BaCuO5. With decreasing temperature, a long-range incommensurate ordering of both Gd3+ and Cu2+ spins at TN = 11.8 K occurs with the modulation vector k = (0, 0, g) and a lock-in transition to a strongly noncollinear structure with kc = (0, 0, 1/2) at Tloc ∼ 6 K. Both spin structures induce electric polarization consistent with the polar magnetic space groups Pm1 (α, 0, g)ss and Paca21, respectively. Based on the symmetry analysis of magnetoelectric interactions, we suggest that the ferroelectricity in both commensurate and incommensurate phases is driven by a complex interplay of two-spins and single-spin contributions from magnetic ions located in noncentrosymmetric environments. Our study demonstrates that the green phase family of compounds may serve as a playground for studying the multiferroic phenomena, where the interplay of 4 f -3d interactions demonstrates an alternative route to find magnetoelectric materials.

https://www.doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevResearch.2.023271

15 avril 2020

La recherche de nouveaux états de la matière, allant au-delà de la description classique "à la Landau" suscite un très fort engouement en physique. Dans cette perspective, les travaux théoriques orientent ces recherches vers les systèmes présentant des "ordres topologiques", tels que certains "liquides de spin quantiques" et autres états fortement corrélés, caractérisés en particulier par l’absence de symétrie brisée.

Sur le plan expérimental, c’est la recherche d’une contrepartie quantique des "glaces de spins" qui a retenu l’attention. Ces composés forment un analogue magnétique de la glace d’eau, où le comportement des spins reflète exactement celui du désordre des protons dans H2O.

Une équipe internationale formée de chercheurs du PSI (Suisse), du Stanford Institute for Materials and Energy Science (USA), de l’Institut Néel à Grenoble et du LLB à Saclay a mis en évidence par diverses techniques, dont la diffusion des neutrons, un exemple de cette contrepartie quantique des glaces de spin. Plus précisément, il s’agit d’un état "glacé" particulier, où la distribution octupolaire de la densité électronique joue le rôle des moments magnétiques dans les glaces de spins classiques. L’étude des interactions montre que l’état fondamental est constitué d’une superposition quantique d’états intriqués, confirmant ainsi les prédictions théoriques sur les liquides de spins quantiques.

17 mars 2020

A. C. Ferreira, S. Paofai, A. Létoublon, J. Ollivier, S. Raymond, B. Hehlen, B. Rufflé, S. Cordier, C. Katan, J. Even & P. Bourges
 

Hybrid organolead perovskites (HOP) have started to establish themselves in the field of photovoltaics, mainly due to their great optoelectronic properties and steadily improving solar cell efficiency. Study of the lattice dynamics is key in understanding the electron-phonon interactions at play, responsible for such properties. Here, we investigate, via neutron and Raman spectroscopies, the optical phonon spectrum of four different HOP single crystals: MAPbBr3, FAPbBr3, MAPbI3, and α-FAPbI3. Low temperature spectra reveal weakly dispersive optical phonons, at energies as low as 2-5 meV, which seem to be the origin of the limit of the charge carriers mobilities in these materials. The temperature dependence of our neutron spectra shows as well a significant anharmonic behaviour, resulting in optical phonon overdamping at temperatures as low as 80 K, questionning the validity of the quasi-particle picture for the low energy optical modes at room temperature where the solar cells operate.

https://www.nature.com/articles/s42005-020-0313-7

14 janvier 2020

N. Martin, M. Deutsch, T. C. Hansen, M. T. Fernandez-Diaz, L. N. Fomicheva, A. V. Tsvyashchenko, and I. Mirebeau

In the MnGe chiral magnet, the helimagnetic order and local moment collapse in two steps, showing the succession of high spin (HS) and low spin (LS) states as pressure increases. Here, we use high-pressure neutron diffraction to study the doped compounds Mn0.86Co0.14Ge and Mn0.9Rh0.1Ge, and show that the evolution of their microscopic magnetic properties is instead continuous. It means that the bulk HS-LS transition is a unique feature of pure MnGe, very sensitive to small changes of the band structure and easily suppressed by chemical substitution. On the other hand, the helimagnetic correlations appear to be strengthened by doping and survive up to larger pressures (≈19 GPa, to be compared with ≈13 GPa). We discuss these results in the light of other disordered systems with remarkable properties, the so-called Invar alloys.

DOI : 10.1103/PhysRevB.100.060401


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