THE NOBEL PRIZE IN CHEMISTRY

A 1986 DNA model used by Aziz Sancar, who was awarded the 2015 Nobel Prize in Chemistry.

© Nobel Media. Photo: Alexander Mahmoud

About the prize

“The said interest shall be divided into five equal parts, which shall be apportioned as follows: /- – -/ one part to the person who shall have made the most important chemical discovery or improvement…”  (Excerpt from the will of Alfred Nobel.)

Chemistry was the most important science for Alfred Nobel’s own work. The development of his inventions as well as the industrial processes he employed were based upon chemical knowledge. Chemistry was the second prize area that Nobel mentioned in his will.

The Nobel Prize in Chemistry is awarded by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, Stockholm, Sweden.

See all chemistry laureates or learn about the nomination process.

The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2022

Sometimes simple answers are the best. Barry Sharpless and Morten Meldal are awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2022 because they brought chemistry into the era of functionalism and laid the foundations of click chemistry. They share the prize with Carolyn Bertozzi, who took click chemistry to a new dimension and began using it to map cells. Her bioorthogonal reactions are now contributing to more targeted cancer treatments, among many other applications.
Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2022

© Johan Jarnestad/The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences

The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2022

The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2022 was awarded to Carolyn R. Bertozzi, Morten Meldal and K. Barry Sharpless “for the development of click chemistry and bioorthogonal chemistry”.

Sharpless and Meldal have laid the foundation for a functional form of chemistry – click chemistry – in which molecular building blocks snap together quickly and efficiently. Bertozzi has taken click chemistry to a new dimension and started utilising it in living organisms.
Carolyn R. Bertozzi, Morten Meldal, K. Barry Sharpless

Ill. Niklas Elmehed © Nobel Prize Outreach

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Who did what?

Nobel Prizes and laureates

Model depicting a molecule that chemistry laureate Akira Suzuki successfully created by artificial means.

Photo: Nobel Prize Museum

Try a puzzle

Explore a new storytelling experience that celebrates and explores the contributions, careers and lives of the 19 women who have been awarded Nobel Prizes for their scientific achievements.
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Other discoveries

Learn more about Svante Arrhenius, who first made the connection between carbon dioxide levels and global temperature.

Sea level rise, NASA

A map of the Earth with a six-metre sea level rise represented in red

Credit: NASA

Watch the Nobel Lecture by one of 2016’s laureates Jean-Pierre Sauvage, who helped develop molecular machines.

Jean-Pierre Sauvage

Jean-Pierre Sauvage, Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2016

© Nobel Media. Photo: Alexander Mahmoud

Frederick Sanger received the prize twice: in 1958 for his work on the structure of proteins and in 1980 for DNA sequencing.

Frederick Sanger Calibration catalogue of amino acids (1)

The double Nobel-awarded laureate Frederick Sanger‘s calibration catalogue of amino acids

© Nobel Media. Photo: Alexander Mahmoud