Jean-Pierre Sauvage, J Fraser Stoddart and Bernard L Feringa won 2016 Nobel Prize in Chemistry

Oct 5, 2016 15:47 IST

The 2016 Nobel Prize in Chemistry on 5 October 2016 was awarded to Jean-Pierre Sauvage, Sir James Fraser Stoddart and Bernard L Feringa.

The trio were bestowed with the prestigious award for the design and synthesis of molecular machines.

Jean-Pierre Sauvage is a French coordination chemist. Sir James Fraser Stoddart is a Scottish chemist. He works in the area of supramolecular chemistry and nanotechnology. Bernard L Feringa is a synthetic organic chemist, specializing in molecular nanotechnology and homogenous catalysis.

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Development of world's smallest machines

Jean-Pierre Sauvage, Sir James Fraser Stoddart and Bernard L Feringa have developed molecules with controllable movements, which can perform a task when energy is added.

The first step towards a molecular machine was taken by Jean-Pierre Sauvage in 1983, when he succeeded in linking two ring-shaped molecules together to form a chain, called a catenane.

The second step was taken by Fraser Stoddart in 1991, when he developed a rotaxane. He threaded a molecular ring onto a thin molecular axle and demonstrated that the ring was able to move along the axle.

• Bernard Feringa was the first person to develop a molecular motor. In 1999, he got a molecular rotor blade to spin continually in the same direction. Using molecular motors, he has rotated a glass cylinder that is 10000 times bigger than the motor and also designed a nanocar.

The 2016's Nobel Laureates in Chemistry have taken molecular systems out of equilibrium's stalemate and into energy-filled states in which their movements can be controlled.

About Nobel Prize in Chemistry

The Nobel Prize in Chemistry is awarded annually by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences to scientists in the various fields of chemistry.

It is one of the five Nobel Prizes established by the will of Alfred Nobel in 1895.

The first Nobel Prize in Chemistry was awarded in 1901 to Jacobus Henricus van 't Hoff for his discovery of the laws of chemical dynamics and osmotic pressure in solutions.

The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2015 was awarded jointly to Tomas Lindahl, Paul Modrich and Aziz Sancar for mechanistic studies of DNA repair.

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