© The Nobel Foundation. Photo: U. Montan
Richard F. Heck
Born: 15 August 1931, Springfield, MA, USA
Died: 9 October 2015, Manila, Philippines
Affiliation at the time of the award: University of Delaware, USA
Prize motivation: "for palladium-catalyzed cross couplings in organic synthesis."
Prize share: 1/3
Nature is full of organic substances - a multitude of chemical compounds that contain the element carbon. Using chemical methods to combine or synthesize organic substances is important in both scientific and industrial contexts. At the end of the 1960s, Richard Heck began developing chemical reactions in which carbon atoms are bound together so that new compounds are created. The reactions create cross couplings between carbon atoms, with the metal palladium as a catalyst. Palladium facilitates the reaction without becoming incorporated in the final product.
See the list of all Nobel Prizes, awarded for "the greatest benefit to mankind."
In his will, Alfred Nobel left 31 million SEK to found the Nobel Prizes.
Medicine Laureate Shinya Yamanaka talks about the importance of taking risks.