Master 2

Molecular Chemistry and Interfaces


The master Molecular Chemistry and Interfaces (MOCHI) is a high-level scientific and academic joint program proposed by the Institut Polytechnique de Paris and the Université Paris Saclay. The program is devoted to molecular chemistry and its applications to the fields of biology and material sciences. It gives state-of-the-art knowledge in academic sciences and brings the students towards their applications in industry. In order to reach a better understanding of the field and its interfaces, tools in molecular modelling will be brought as well to the students. Training will particularly focus on organometallic chemistry and catalysis, supramolecular chemistry, chemobiology, and chemistry for optoelectronics. The courses are given in english, they are completed by a literature project, a total synthesis project as well as a 6 months research project.

Language of instruction: English
ECTS: 60
Oriented: research
Duration: 1 year
Courses Location: Ecole Polytechnique, ENS Paris-Saclay

Educational objectives

The main objective of the master Molecular Chemistry and Interfaces (MOCHI) is to form and train experts in molecular chemistry. Students at the end of the program should be able to build complex molecules, understand and propose reaction mechanisms involving both organic and organometallic transformations. The teaching brought at the interfaces (biology, materials sciences, optoelectronics) will help them to apply and imagine new applications of their knowledge in other fields as well as to construct fruitful collaborations with experts of these fields. In depth understanding will be further proposed by the use of molecular modelling.

Program structure

  • 6 optional modules of 6 ECTS, 32 hours courses+ 8 hours exercises for each module.
  • Exam conditions: written exams for all modules (first and second session).

Students will have to choose 5 out of 6 for their training:

Advanced organic chemistry :
This module focuses on several advanced methods and topics in modern organic chemistry, which will be introduced and developed along the following three courses: “Photochemical Organic Reactions”, “Main-Group Chemistry: P, B, Si, S”; and “Asymmetric Synthesis”. After a careful presentation of general concepts, various important applications of photochemical reactions, asymmetric methods (including catalytic processes) and synthetic methods based on the chemistry of main-group elements of the p-block (mainly B, Si, P, S) will be reviewed, predominantly in organic synthesis, with occasional illustrations in organometallic chemistry.
Teaching: J. Hannedouche (CNRS, Paris-Saclay), D. Bourissou (X), D. Aitken (Paris-Saclay)

Organometallic Chemistry and Catalysis
This module mainly focuses on the organometallic chemistry and its application in catalysis. The rationalization of the activation of substrates/bonds by metal complexes will be presented as well as the synthesis and reactivity of a variety of carbanionic organometallic reagents. Traditional and more recent aspect of metal based catalysis will be disclosed, with a special attention to coupling reactions catalyzed by palladium or non-noble metals: scope, mechanistic aspects, advantages and limitations will be presented. The role of advanced catalysis concerning the necessary change of paradigm in the production of major chemicals, from fossil to renewable feedstocks will be addressed.
Teaching: Y. Six (X), C. Gosmini (X), A. Auffrant (X), T. Cantat (X), N. Mézailles (X)

Chemistry and Biology
This module focuses on the interfaces between chemistry and biology, mainly through the following four courses: bioinorganic Chemistry, chemical biology, biopolymers and photocontrol of biological processes. Metalloproteins, electron transfer systems and oxygen transportation/activation, and the study of their chemical mimics will be described. After introduction to biopolymers and their main chemical properties, bioconjugation and bioorthogonal chemistry will be presented with cases studies in in vivo protein fluorescent labeling and target identification, as well as enzymatic activity detection. Caged compounds and photoswitchable bioactive molecules, the rapidly developing field, will also be introduced with cases studies on examples and study of research articles on the caged (bio)molecules and photopharmacology. The objectives of this module are to give an overview about the wide research field of chemical biology via the description of important biological processes involving biopolymers like (metallo)proteins, polysaccharides, polynucleotides; and to illustrate how chemists may develop new tools for the field.
Teaching: F. Avenier (Paris-Saclay), Joanne Xie (ENS Paris-Saclay), P.Y. Renard (Univ Rouen), B. Vauzeilles (CNRS, Paris-Saclay)

Chemistry for optoelectronics
The module aims at giving an overview of application of molecular chemistry in the field of optoelectronic devices. The module is divided into three sections:
1- Conducting molecular materials
2- From molecules to optoelectronic devices.
3- Switchable molecular materials

The module aims at showing how molecular materials can be designed to achieve a particular function in optoelectronic devices: energy harvesting, photon to charge conversion, optical or magnetic properties switching,…Various types of materials (polymers, nanoparticles, inorganic…) as wells as molecules (donor-acceptor, dyads, dyes…) will be browsed and relations between molecular structures and properties will be highlighted.
Teaching: G. Zucchi (X), I Yassar (X), F. Miomandre (ENS Saclay), K. Nakatani (ENS Paris-Saclay), T. Mallah (Paris-Saclay), N. Avarvari (X), P. Audebert (ENS Saclay)

Supramolecular, Macromolecular and Material Chemistry
This module focuses on the interfaces between chemistry and material sciences, mainly through the following three courses: Supramolecular Chemistry, Supramolecular Polymer Chemistry, Chemistry of hybrid organic/inorganic materials. The concepts, interactions and classes of molecules (porphyrins, macrocycles…) involved in supramolecular assemblies will be presented together with applications in the field of medecine and environmental sciences. The module will further present recent trends in the field of polymer chemistry with a particular focus on biological polymers, preparation and applications of copolymers as well as supramolecular polymers and gelators. Finally, concepts and tools for the functionalization of various hybrid organic/inorganic materials will be presented. Examples will be selected to demonstrate how these tools may allow to tune the desired properties of the material.
Teaching: L. Bouteiller (X), G. Nocton (X), D. Carmichael (X), T. Gacoin (X), N. Bogliotti (ENS Paris-Saclay)

Molecular modelling
This module provides an introduction to molecular modelling from basic principles to applications to complex molecules. It is divided into two parts. In the first, the basics of modelling based on the laws of classical mechanics are introduced: force fields, Monte Carlo sampling and molecular dynamics. Applications to free energy calculations and various approaches of solvation are described. Illustrations span a wide range of molecules and macromolecules in chemistry and biochemistry. The second part is devoted to the analysis of quantum chemical calculations (based on density functional theory) to understand molecular properties and reactivity in organic and organometallic chemistry. Various analyses of electron density and atomic indices are introduced and their application to chemical reactivity is described. The first objective of this module is to give the Master students an overview about some of the main methods in molecular modelling with enough background to understand their potential and application domains. The second objective is to understand how to translate a chemical problem into a modelling workflow, through the hands-on use of research softwares and work on a personal project.
Teaching: F. Cailliez (Paris-Saclay), C. Clavaguéra (CNRS, Paris-Saclay), G. Frison (X), G. Ohanessian (X)

Projects: written report and oral presentation

A literature project will be proposed to all students. It is a bibliographical study that will have to be performed on a subject close to the research internship or one of the module of the master. It will be the occasion of a written report and oral defense performed before the beginning of the research internship. Other specific projects may be included in some of the modules, it will be the case of a project on retrosynthesis that will be given to students who have selected the « advanced organic chemistry » module. »

Research internship
Five to six months research project performed in industry or academia, in France or abroad, starting from the end of January.

Involved laboratories

Career prospects

Positions: Research scientists in academy and industry (after a PhD in molecular sciences), R&D engineers, project manager in chemistry …
Employment Sectors: pharmaceutical industry, agrochemical industry, cosmetics, petrochemistry, consulting and patent application.

Institutional partners

  • Ecole Polytechnique,
  • ENS Paris-Saclay
  • Upsay
  • ENSTA Paris


Application guidelines for a master’s program at IP Paris

Academic prerequisites

  • Completion of the 1st year of a master program (Master 1) in molecular chemistry (or equivalent), in France or abroad.

Language prerequisites

  • English

Application timeline

Deadlines for the Master application sessions are as follows:
– First session: February 28, 2020
– Second session: April 30, 2020
– Third Session (optional): June 30, 2020 (only if there are availabilities remaining after the 2 first sessions)
Applications not finalized for a session will automatically be carried over to the next session.

You shall receive an answer 2 months after the application deadline of the session.

Tuition Fees

National Master: Official tuition fees of the Ministry of Higher Education, Research and innovation (2019-2020, EU students: 243 euros / Non-EU students: 3770 euros)


Program coordinators:

Laurent El Kaïm (X-Ensta)

Corinne Gosmini (X)

Anne-Florence Eyssautier (X)

Sandra Schnakenbourg (X)

Christian Jean Baptiste (ENS Saclay)

Joanne Xie (ENS Saclay)

F. Avenier (Paris XI)