Philippe Sautet

Professor and Vice-Chair, 5531-J Boelter Hall, (310) 825-8485,


Contact Information

Room: 5531-J Boelter Hall
Phone: 310-825‐8485

Research Website



  • “Diplome d’Ingénieur de l’École Polytechnique de Paris”, June 1985
  • “Diplome d’Etudes Approfondies” in Inorganic Chemistry, Paris-Orsay University, June 1986
  • Doctorate in Physical Chemistry, January 1989, Paris-Orsay University
  • Habilitation to direct research, November 1994, Lyon 1 University


  • Pierre Süe Grand Prize of the French Chemical Society  2012
  • Member of the French Academy of Sciences, 2010
  • Silver medal of the CNRS 2007
  • Descartes-Huygens prize 1998, awarded by the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences
  • Award of the Catalysis Division of the French Chemical Society 1993
  • Bronze medal of the CNRS 1991
  • Raymond Berr student research award of the École Polytechnique 1985

Research Interests

  • Theory of the electronic structure at the solid-gas interface
  • Modelisation of elementary steps of heterogeneous catalysis
  • Calculation of the Scanning Tunnelling Microscopy images of surfaces; interpretation of images of adsorbates
  • First principle calculations for chemisorption at surfaces
  • DFT study of reaction of molecules at surfaces and on metal complexes
  • Modeling grafted complexes or clusters on oxide surfaces

Selected Recent Papers

  • Federico Calle-Vallejo, David Loffreda, Marc T. M. Koper and Philippe Sautet
    Introducing structural sensitivity into scaling relations between adsorption energies by means of
    coordination numbers
    Nature Chem. 7, 403-410 (2015)

  • Aleix Comas-Vives, Maxence Valla, Christophe Copéret and Philippe Sautet
    Cooperativity between Al–sites promotes H-transfer and carbon–carbon bond formation upon
    dimethylether activation on alumina
    ACS Cent. Sci., 1, 313−319 (2015)

  • Federico Calle-Vallejo, Jakub Tymoczko, Viktor Colic, Quang Huy Vu, Marcus D. Pohl,
    Karina Morgenstern, David Loffreda, Philippe Sautet, Wolfgang Schuhmann, Aliaksandr S.
    Finding optimal surface sites on heterogeneous catalysts by counting nearest neighbors
    Science, 350, 185-189 (2015)

  • Carine Michel, Jérémie Zaffran, Joanna Matras-Michalska, Marcin Jedrzejczyk,
    Agnieszka M. Ruppert, Jacek Grams, and Philippe Sautet
    Role of water on metal catalyst performance for ketone hydrogenation. A join experimental and
    theoretical study on levulinic acid conversion into gamma-valerolactone
    Chem. Comm. 50, 12450 (2014)

  • Federico Calle-Vallejo, José I. Martínez, Juan M. García-Lastra, Philippe Sautet and David
    Fast prediction of adsorption properties for platinum nanocatalysts with generalized coordination
    Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 53, 8316-8319 (2014)

  • Florian Göltl, Rosa E. Bulo, Jürgen Hafner, Philippe Sautet
    What makes copper-exchanged SSZ-13 zeolite efficient at cleaning car exhaust gases?
    J. Phys. Chem. Lett. 4, 2244-2249 (2013)

  • D. Loffreda, C. Michel, F. Delbecq, P. Sautet
    Tuning catalytic reactivity on metal surfaces: Insights from DFT
    J. Catal. 308, 374-385 (2013)

  • Etienne Grau, Anne Lesage, Sébastien Norsic, Christophe Copéret, Vincent Monteil, Philippe
    Tetrahydrofuran in TiCl4/THF/MgCl2: a non-innocent ligand for supported Ziegler-Natta
    polymerization catalysts
    ACS Catalysis 3, 52-56 (2013)

  • R. N. Kerber A. Kermagoret, E. Callens, P. Florian, D. Massiot, A. Lesage, C. Copéret, F.
    Delbecq, X. Rozanska, P. Sautet
    Nature and structure of aluminum surface sites grafted on silica from a combination of high field
    aluminum-27 solid-state NMR spectroscopy and first principle calculations
    J. Am. Chem. Soc., 134, 6767-6775 (2012)

  • R. Wischert, P. Laurent, C. Copéret, F. Delbecq, P. Sautet
    γ-alumina: The essential and unexpected role of water for the structure, stability, and reactivity of
    “Defect” sites
    J. Am. Chem. Soc., 134, 14430-14449 (2012)

  • Emiel de Smit, Matti M. van Schooneveld, Fabrizio Cinquini, Hendrik Bluhm, Philippe
    Sautet, Frank M. F. de Groot and Bert M. Weckhuysen
    Size dependence of the surface chemistry of iron oxides in reactive gas atmospheres
    Angew. Chem. Int. Ed., 50, 1584-1588 (2011)

  • R. Wischert, C. Copéret, F. Delbecq, P. Sautet
    Optimal water coverage on alumina: a key to generate Lewis acid-base pairs reactive towards the
    C-H bond activation of methane
    Angew. Chem. Int. Ed., 50, 3202-3205 (2011)