Prof. Ben L. Feringa

  • Jacobus van ‘t Hoff Distinguished Professor of Molecular Sciences
    University of Groningen
    Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2016

Biography

Ben L. Feringa obtained his PhD degree at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands under the guidance of Professor Hans Wynberg. After working as a research scientist at Shell in the Netherlands and the UK, he was appointed lecturer and in 1988 full professor at the University of Groningen and named the Jacobus H. van 't Hoff Distinguished Professor of Molecular Sciences in 2004. He was elected Foreign Honorary member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He is a member of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Sciences as well as a member of the Council of the Royal Society of Chemistry. In 2008 he was appointed Academy Professor and he was knighted by Her Majesty the Queen of the Netherlands. Feringa’s research has been recognized with numerous awards including the Körber European Science Award (2003), the Spinoza Award (2004), the Prelog gold medal (2005), the Norrish Award of the ACS (2007), the Paracelsus medal (2008), the Chirality medal (2009), the RSC Organic Stereochemistry Award (2011), the Humboldt award (2012), the Nagoya gold medal (2013), the ACS Cope Scholar Award (2015), the Chemistry for the Future Solvay Prize (2015), the August-Wilhelm-von-Hoffman Medal (2016), The 2016 Nobel prize in Chemistry and the Tetrahedron Prize (2017).

Feringa’s research interest includes stereochemistry, organic synthesis, asymmetric catalysis, molecular switches and motors, self-assembly, molecular nanosystems and photopharmacology.

Abstract

Molecular Machines

The fascinating molecular motors and machines that sustain life offer a great source of inspiration to the molecular explorer at the nanoscale. Among the major challenges ahead in the design of complex artificial molecular systems and smart materials is the control over dynamic functions and responsive far-from-equilibrium behaviour. Chemical systems ultimately require integration of structure, organization and function of multi-component dynamic molecular assemblies at different hierarchical levels. A major goal is to achieve and exploit translational and rotary motion.

In this presentation the focus is on the dynamics of functional molecular systems as well as triggering and assembly processes. We design switches and motors in which molecular motion is coupled to specific functions. Responsive behaviour will be illustrated in self-assembly, responsive materials and molecular machines. The design, synthesis and functioning of rotary molecular motors will also be presented with a prospect toward future dynamic molecular systems.

Information on http://www.benferinga.com

- Molecular Machines: Nature, September 2015; Chem Eng. News dec. 2017
- Molecular Switches: Chemistry World, June 2016