The winners of the prestigious Nobel Prize in Chemistry have been declared.
The coveted award has been conferred jointly upon Jean-Pierre Sauvage, Sir James Fraser Stoddart and Bernard L Feringa for their work on design and synthesis of molecular machines.
Announcing the Prize on Wednesday in Stockholm, a statement from the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said, “The development of computing demonstrates how the miniaturisation of technology can lead to a revolution. The 2016 Nobel laureates in Chemistry have miniaturised machines and taken chemistry to a new dimension.”
Jean-Pierre Sauvage, Fraser Stoddart and Bernard Feringa won the prize for their work on the “design and synthesis of molecular machines”, the Nobel judges said.
That work involves creating the kinds of machines that would normally be used by people – similar to engines, cars or coffee grinders. But instead they are measured at the size of nanometers, built out of molecules and much smaller than a human hair.
The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences says molecular machines “will most likely be used in the development of things such as new materials, sensors and energy storage systems.”
Jean-Pierre Sauvage was born in Paris and is a French coordination chemist, specializing in supramolecular chemistry. On the other hand, Sir James Fraser Stoddart is a Scottish chemist currently at the Department of Chemistry at Northwestern University in the United States, while Bernard L Feringa is a synthetic organic chemist, who specializes in molecular nanotechnology and homogenous catalysis.
“They have developed molecules with controllable movements, which can perform a task when energy is added… Molecular machines will most likely be used in the development of things such as new materials, sensors and energy storage systems,” released said.
Last year, the prestigious prize went to Tomas Lindahl (Sweden), Paul Modrich (US) and Aziz Sancar (Turkey-US) for work on how cells repair damaged DNA.