Chemistry Nobel Prize 2016 Sauvage, Stoddart, Feringa | Chemistry News

The Nobel Prize 2016 in Chemistry awarded for developing molecular machines

11:33 AM, 5th October 2016
Nobel Prize 2016 in Chemistry -  Sauvage, Stoddart, Feringa
Jean-Pierre Sauvage, Sir J. Fraser Stoddart and Bernard L. Feringa winners of Chemistry Nobel Prize 2016.

STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN: The Nobel Prize 2016 in Chemistry is finally revealed. The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences has decided to award the Nobel Prize in chemistry jointly for 3 scientists i.e. Jean-Pierre Sauvage, Sir J. Fraser Stoddart and Bernard L. Feringa for the design & production of minuscule molecular machines with controllable movements that have the ability to convert Chemical energy into mechanical forces and motion. The announcement was done in Stockholm, Sweden through press-releases.

A bank cheque of 8 million Swedish kronor approximately $933,000 will be divided among all the three.

Jean-Pierre Sauvage is a French chemist specialized in supramolecular chemistry. Sauvage was born in Paris in 1944 and obtained his Ph.D. from the University of Louis Pasteur under the supervision of J.-M. Lehn. In 1983 he took the first step towards a molecular machine when he was able to succeed in linking two ring-shaped molecules together to form a chain, called a catenane. Usually, the molecules are combined with strong covalent bonds in which the atoms share electrons, however in chain they link by a freer mechanical bond. For a machine to be able to perform a task it must consist of parts that can move relative to each other. The two interlocked rings fulfilled exactly this requirement.

Sir James Fraser Stoddart a Scottish chemist born in 24 May 1942, works in the area of supramolecular chemistry and nanotechnology. He further enhanced the research in 1991, by developing a rotaxane. Stoddart threaded a molecular ring onto a thin molecular axle and demonstrated that the ring was able to move along the axle. Among his developments based on rotaxanes are a molecular lift, a molecular muscle and a molecule-based computer chip.

Bernard L Feringa from Netherlands is a synthetic organic chemist specialized in molecular nanotechnology and homogenous catalysis born in 1951. Feringa was the first person to develop a molecular motor; in the year 1999, he got a molecular rotor blade to spin continually in the same direction. With the help of molecular motors, he was able to rotate a glass cylinder that is 10,000 times bigger than the motor and also designed a nanocar.

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said that the molecular machines can be used in the development of new materials, sensors and energy storage systems

The Nobel Prize in Chemistry for 2015 was also awarded to 3 scientists Tomas Lindahl, Paul Modrich and Aziz Sancar "for mechanistic studies of DNA repair". Even this time Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences (RSAS) decides to honor the award to three members jointly.  

What Nobel Prize basically mean?

Nobel Prize is an annual honor given every year for the most prominent work done in various fields like Chemistry, Physics, Economics, Medicine & importantly for promoting the peace. It is considered as one of the most influential & prestigious honors in the world. The first Noble Prize was given in the year 1901, however the idea of honoring with the Nobel Prize was initiated by Alfred B. Nobel, a Swedish Chemist & the one who introduced Dynamite to the world. Nobel Prize is presented every year in Sweden & is the responsibility of Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences to handle or govern the award in Chemistry.

Top 5 countries to bag more number of Nobel Prizes:

United States of America

United Kingdom




Nobel Prize’s stats revealed in numbers: 

In between 1901 and 2015, 822 men, 48 women & 23 organizations were awarded with Nobel Prize. The first person to get Nobel Prize in Chemistry was Jacobus Henricus van 't Hoff of Netherlands for discovering the laws of Chemical Dynamics & Osmotic Pressure in solutions. During the world wars for some years Nobel Prizes were not given & for Chemistry field it was not honored in these following years. 









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