Herbert C. Brown
Born: 22 May 1912, London, United Kingdom
Died: 19 December 2004, Lafayette, IN, USA
Affiliation at the time of the award: Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN, USA
Prize motivation: "for their development of the use of boron- and phosphorus-containing compounds, respectively, into important reagents in organic synthesis"
Field: organic chemistry
Prize share: 1/2
During chemical reactions, molecules composed of atoms meet and form new compounds. Through chemical reactions, it is possible to synthesize chemical compounds in laboratories with molecules that do not exist in nature. During the latter part of the 1950s, Herbert Brown developed methods by which chemical compounds containing the element boron were made to react with carbon compounds to form other carbon compounds. A number of different carbon compounds can be produced, and the reactions are used to make medicines and other products.