Charles J. Pedersen


Charles J. Pedersen

Photo from the Nobel Foundation archive.

Charles J. Pedersen
The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 1987

Born: 3 October 1904, Pusan, Korea (now South Korea)

Died: 26 October 1989, Salem, NJ, USA

Affiliation at the time of the award: Du Pont, Wilmington, DE, USA

Prize motivation: “for their development and use of molecules with structure-specific interactions of high selectivity”

Prize share: 1/3


Chemical reactions often occur through the influence of molecules that have cavities and pockets where other atoms and molecules can be attached to then join with other molecules. In 1967 Charles Pedersen discovered crown ethers, a family of ring-shaped molecules that have the ability to bind certain metallic atoms in the middle of the ring. The metallic atoms can then be released in organic compounds, something that had been difficult before. This opened up possibilities for bringing about chemical reactions in laboratories and creating chemical compounds.

To cite this section
MLA style: Charles J. Pedersen – Facts. Nobel Prize Outreach AB 2024. Sun. 3 Mar 2024. <>

Back to top Back To Top Takes users back to the top of the page

Nobel Prizes and laureates

Eleven laureates were awarded a Nobel Prize in 2023, for achievements that have conferred the greatest benefit to humankind. Their work and discoveries range from effective mRNA vaccines and attosecond physics to fighting against the oppression of women.

See them all presented here.

Explore prizes and laureates

Look for popular awards and laureates in different fields, and discover the history of the Nobel Prize.