The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2010
Born: 12 September 1930, Mukawa, Japan
Affiliation at the time of the award: Hokkaido University, Sapporo, Japan
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 1970s, Akira Suzuki 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.
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.