Photo: R. Paz
Robert H. Grubbs
The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2005
Born: 27 February 1942, Possum Trot, KY, USA
Affiliation at the time of the award: California Institute of Technology (Caltech), Pasadena, CA, USA
Prize motivation: "for the development of the metathesis method in organic synthesis."
Prize share: 1/3
Organic substances - a multitude of chemical compounds that contain the element carbon - are the basis of all life. Metathesis is an important type of chemical reaction in assembling or synthesizing organic substances. In metathesis double bonds between carbon atoms are broken and reorganized at the same time as atomic groups change place. Around 1992 Robert Grubbs discovered a metallic compound that effectively facilitates metathesis and is stable in the air. Metathesis has enabled more effective and environmentally sound processes in industry.
Their work and discoveries range from cancer therapy and laser physics to developing proteins that can solve humankind’s chemical problems. The work of the 2018 Nobel Laureates also included combating war crimes, as well as integrating innovation and climate with economic growth. Find out more.