Dr. William L. Watkins

Nanoscientist - Energy

Fluent French & English speaker

About me

My name is William and I am a Doctor in the field of physics since October 2018. The story started nine years ago. Young college graduate, I had one goal, get a PhD. I went to the UK to get a Bachelor's degree in the field of chemistry at Cardiff University. During these studies I discovered the incredible world of the nanosciences (i.e. the infinitely small) and particularly, the remarkable properties that gold has at this scale. After a Master's degree in materials chemistry back in Paris at Sorbonne University, I was looking for a Ph. The ideal project was proposed by Dr. Yves Borensztein at the Paris Institute of Nanosciences. The goal was to study and develop a gas sensor (e.g. hydrogen) using gold nanoparticles. My training as a chemist did not hinder my work regarding this physical study. On the contrary, it gave me a different perspective from my supervisor and allowed us to well undertake this project. The sensor was operating with a higher performance than what was commercially available. I thought that filing a patent on this new technology would be ideal.

The advantage of the PhD is that it gives the future doctor considerable skills and abilities. Indeed, neither my supervisor nor I knew anything about patents or intellectual properties. This did not stop me from approaching the CNRS and filing the patent on Friday, October 5th, 2018. Why do I give you the date? Because my defence was held the following Monday. No need to explain the pressure endured to get everything done in time.

The skills acquired during a PhD are far too numerous to mention here. But I can tell you that in addition to a scientific expertise in the field studied. A doctor develops a plethora of skills such as intellectual property, communication, scientific writing, the ability to speak in public, and worked under pressure on areas that were foreign to him.

Today I want to apply these skills to repair our world, especially to tackle the environmental problem. My work on hydrogen convinced me that this gas is a real solution to solve these problems and it is in this area that I want to apply my knowledge and skills.


PhD Physics

Sorbonne Univerity

Expertise in nanotechnologies, plasmonics, optical sensor and hydrogen

Master's Chemistry

Sorbonne Univerity

Specialisation in material and inorganique chemistry and engineering

Bsc Chemistry

Cardiff Univerity

Chemistry degree with a major in theoretical and nanochemistry chemistry


CTO Bichromatics

Research Engineer - CNRS

Head chemist for gold nanoparticle dye synthesis & software engineer for colourimetric prediction.

Project manager in R&D


Development of a high sensitivity plasmon sensor for gas detection (e.g. hydrogen).

Scientific communicator

Palais de la Découverte

Presenter and spokesman at the museum (e.g. liquid air, chemistry of light).

Research assistant in R&D


Use of diatoms (micro-algae) for photovoltaic applications.

Publications and conferences

Title Journal/Conf.
Thesis Study and development of localised surface plasmon resonance based sensors using anisotropic spectroscopy Sorbonne University Oct. 2018 Read More
Patent Détecteur de molécules par résonance de plasmon Dépôt - FR INPI N ◦ 18 59255 Oct. 2018
Poster Development and study of plasmon detectors Workshop TAILOR Mar. 2016
Poster Synthesis of anisotropic Au, Pd/Au and Pd NPs via oblique angle deposition on glass: Plasmon resonance and sensing applications Workshop LNIO (Univ. Techn. de Troyes) Oct. 2017
Poster Dichroic surface plasmons in gold nanoparticles: reactivity towards gas molecules and application to high-performance H2 sensing. Gold2018 Jul. 2018
Poster Synthesis of anisotropic Au, Pd/Au and Pd NPs via oblique angle deposition on glass: Plasmon resonance and sensing applications OSI/12 (Optics of Surfaces and Interfaces) Jui. 2017
Symposium Adsorption de H2 sur des nanoparticules d’Au anisotrope GDR Or-Nano Déc. 2017 Read More
Inter. conf. Use of Reflectance Anisotropy Spectroscopy for enhanced sensitivity of localised surface plasmon resonance sensor OSI/12 (Optics of Surfaces and Interfaces) Jui. 2017 Read More
Inter. conf. Hydrogen adsorption on anisotropic gold nano particles investigated by plasmonic spectroscopy Gold2018 Jul. 2018 Read More
Article Des nanoparticules métalliques anisotropes pour des capteurs plasmoniques ultrasensibles : application à la détection d’hydrogène Faits d’actualité – INSP Déc. 2017 Read More
Article HgTe nanocrystal inks for extended short wave infrared detection Adv. Optical Mater. Mai. 2019 Read More
Article Mechanism of hydrogen adsorption on gold nanoparticles and chargetransfer probed by anisotropic surface plasmon resonance Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys. Sep. 2017 Read More
Article Ultrasensitive and fast single wavelength plasmonic hydrogen sensingwith anisotropic nanostructured Pd films Sensors and Actuators B Nov. 2018 Read More