ERC Consolidator HiPhore

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High-temperature thermophoresis using advanced optical microscopies

At small spatial scales, temperature fields can induce the rapid motion of molecules or particles, usually from hot to cold. This process, called thermophoresis, has already led to recent and original applications. Nevertheless, the origin of thermophoresis in liquids is multiple, complex and still a matter of active debate in the scientific community.

The HiPhore project aims at expanding the applications of thermophoresis in biology, from the molecular scale to the scale of living organisms. The challenge consists in measuring and controlling the microscale temperature profile. This task will be fulfilled thanks the optical heating of gold nanoparticles, along with the use of new label-free optical microscopy tools.

The fundamental part of the HiPhore project aims to uncover the underlying physics of thermophoresis, in particular for proteins, and to tackle a new regime of thermophoresis at high temperature. In parallel, the applied part of the project focuses on the conception of high-temperature thermophoretic traps to enable the observation of of hyperthermophilic microorganisms using conventional optical microscopies.

Partners :
- Patrick Forterre, Institut de Génétique et Microbiologie, Université Paris Sud, France
- Alois Würger, LOMA, Bordeaux, France

Biography : GGuillaume Baffou is a CNRS research scientist working in the Mosaic team of the Institut Fresnel in Marseille (France). Following his studies at the Ecole Normale Supérieure de Cachan and a doctorate at the University Paris-sud, he joined the ICFO in Barcelona (Spain) as a postdoctoral fellow in 2007 and was appointed CNRS researcher at the Institut Fresnel in 2010. His research studies focus on the use of gold nanoparticles under illumination as nanosources of heat, and on the subsequent thermal-induced at small scales in various fields of science (physics, chemistry and cell biology). He recently authored a book entitled « Thermoplasmonics » published in Cambridge University Press. Guillaume Baffou was awarded a CNRS Bronze medal in 2015.

Contact :
Guillaume Baffou
guillaume.baffou chez
0033 649 685 837