Nathalie Katsonis

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Nathalie Katsonis
Born (1978-02-22) 22 February 1978 (age 46)
Alma materChimie ParisTech
Pierre and Marie Curie University
Known forBioinspired molecular systems
Scientific career
InstitutionsUniversity of Groningen
University of Twente
Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique

Nathalie Helene Katsonis (born 22 February 1978 in Vienna, Austria) is a Professor of Active Molecular Systems at the Stratingh Institute for Chemistry, University of Groningen. In 2016 she was awarded the Royal Netherlands Chemical Society Gold Medal.

Early life and education[edit]

Katsonis was born in Vienna.[1] She grew up in Orsay, in Paris Region. She is half French and half Greek. She studied chemical engineering at the Chimie ParisTech, before moving to Ecole Normal Superieure for her graduate studies with Ludovic Jullien. Katsonis earned her doctoral degree at the Pierre and Marie Curie University. She worked on nanoscale probes of two dimensional molecular self-assemblies with Denis Fichou.[2] She joined the research group of Ben Feringa at the University of Groningen, where she worked on self-assembly of motors and switches.[3] Whilst at Groningen Katsonis developed scanning probe microscopy for the determination of molecular chirality.[4]

Research and career[edit]

Katsonis joined the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) in 2007 and started to work on light-responsive chiral liquid crystals.[3] She was made a Group Leader at the University of Groningen and held a visiting position at KU Leuven. In 2012 she was awarded a Royal Society International Exchange grant to work with Steve Fletcher on light responsive polymers.[5][6] Katsonis proposed the materials could be used for microfluidics or soft robotics.[5] Her research is inspired by nature, where helical structures are often created for movement.[7]

She moved to the University of Twente in 2013, and was promoted to Professor in 2016.[3][7] She returned to the University of Groningen as Professor of Active Molecular Systems in 2020. Katsonis has worked on squishy light responsive materials, which can convert light energy into mechanical work. She demonstrated that it is possible to switch between left and right-handed helixes in cholesteric liquid crystals using light.[8] She has also showed that it is possible to use twisted liquid crystals as organising templates to design self-assemblies of superparamagnetic nanoparticles.[9] In 2017 she was awarded a European Research Council Consolidator Grant in nanotechnology.[10] Her recent work has been concerned with unravelling the molecular origin of purposeful motion, both in space and time at the nanoscale.

Awards and honours[edit]

Her awards and honours include;

Selected publications[edit]

Her publications include;

  • Eelkema, Rienk; Katsonis, Nathalie; Feringa, Ben (2006). "Molecular machines: nanomotor rotates microscale objects" (PDF). Nature. 440 (7081): 163. Bibcode:2006Natur.440..163E. doi:10.1038/440163a. PMID 16525460. S2CID 4384254.
  • Kudernac, Tibor; Katsonis, Nathalie; Feringa, Ben (2011). "Electrically driven directional motion of a four-wheeled molecule on a metal surface". Nature. 479 (7372): 208–11. Bibcode:2011Natur.479..208K. doi:10.1038/nature10587. PMID 22071765. S2CID 6175720.
  • Katsonis, Nathalie; Kudernac, Tibor; Feringa, Ben (2006). "Reversible conductance switching of single diarylethenes on a gold surface". Advanced Materials. 18 (11): 1397–1400. doi:10.1002/adma.200600210. S2CID 94100738.
  • Iamsaard, Supitchaya; Fletcher, Stephen; Katsonis, Nathalie (2014). "Conversion of light into macroscopic helical motion". Nature Chemistry. 6 (3): 229–35. Bibcode:2014NatCh...6..229I. doi:10.1038/nchem.1859. PMID 24557138. S2CID 205292584.
  • Alexander Ryabchun, Federico Lancia, Nathalie Katsonis (2023). "Light‐Responsive Springs from Electropatterned Liquid Crystal Polymer Networks" Advanced Optical Materials. 11: 2300358.

Academic service[edit]

Katsonis serves on the Nature Travel Grants panel. She is an Editor of the journals Communications Chemistry[18] and ChemPhotoChem.

Personal life[edit]

Katsonis is in partnership with Tibor Kudernac and has three children.[19]


  1. ^ "Building & Probing Small". Retrieved 2019-09-13.
  2. ^ a b Nathalie Katsonis - Shining light on life-like materials, retrieved 2019-09-13
  3. ^ a b c d "Nathalie Katsonis's Profile |". Global Young Academy. Retrieved 2019-09-13.
  4. ^ Katsonis, Nathalie; Xu, Hong; Haak, Robert M.; Kudernac, Tibor; Tomović, Željko; George, Subi; Van der Auweraer, Mark; Schenning, Albert P. H. J.; Meijer, E. W. (2008). "Emerging Solvent-Induced Homochirality by the Confinement of Achiral Molecules Against a Solid Surface" (PDF). Angewandte Chemie International Edition. 47 (27): 4997–5001. doi:10.1002/anie.200800255. hdl:11370/5a2f9f46-93d8-4f91-9768-9b7bb279f774. ISSN 1521-3773. PMID 18504789.
  5. ^ a b Polymer Springs Coil Like A Cucumber Plant with UV Light, retrieved 2019-09-13
  6. ^ Iamsaard, S. Asshoff, S.J. Matt, B.D. Kudernac, T. Cornelissen, J.J.L.M. Fletcher, S.P. Katsonis, N.H. (2014). Conversion of light into macroscopic helical motion. Nature Publishing Group. OCLC 893504434.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  7. ^ a b c International, C2W. "'Thinking different about materials' | C2W 2017 Issue 3". Retrieved 2019-09-13.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  8. ^ Lacaze, Emmanuelle; Katsonis, Nathalie; Pablo, Juan J. de; Iamsaard, Supitchaya; Zhou, Ye; Sleczkowski, Piotr (2018-04-24). "Light-activated helical inversion in cholesteric liquid crystal microdroplets". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 115 (17): 4334–4339. Bibcode:2018PNAS..115.4334S. doi:10.1073/pnas.1720742115. ISSN 0027-8424. PMC 5924914. PMID 29626129.
  9. ^ Matt, Benjamin; Pondman, Kirsten M.; Asshoff, Sarah J.; ten Haken, Bennie; Fleury, Benoit; Katsonis, Nathalie (2014). "Soft Magnets from the Self-Organization of Magnetic Nanoparticles in Twisted Liquid Crystals". Angewandte Chemie. 126 (46): 12654–12658. Bibcode:2014AngCh.12612654M. doi:10.1002/ange.201404312. ISSN 1521-3757.
  10. ^ a b "ERC Consolidator grants for Academy members and Young Academy alumni — KNAW". Retrieved 2019-09-13.
  11. ^ "ERC STARTING GRANT FOR NATHALIE KATSONIS | BNT". Universiteit Twente. Retrieved 2019-09-13.
  12. ^ "Photo-Engineered Helices in Chiral Liquid Crystals - Dimensions". Retrieved 2019-09-13.
  13. ^ "Twente University Fund". Universiteit Twente. Retrieved 2019-09-13.
  14. ^ "Katsonis, Prof. dr. N.H. (Nathalie) —". Retrieved 2019-09-13.
  15. ^ Nathalie Katsonis: nieuw bij De Jonge Akademie, retrieved 2019-09-13
  16. ^ "News | Nathalie Katsonis received the NWO Athena Award 2016 | Home (EN)". Universiteit Twente. Retrieved 2019-09-13.
  17. ^ "WIE ZIJN WIJ". raadns (in Dutch). Retrieved 2019-09-13.
  18. ^ "Editorial Board | Communications Chemistry". Retrieved 2019-11-04.
  19. ^ "Nathalie Katsonis and Tibor Kudernac are leaving the UT to work at the University of Groningen". Universiteit Twente. Retrieved 2023-06-21.