Bernard L. Feringa


Bernard L. Feringa

© Nobel Media AB. Photo: A. Mahmoud

Bernard L. Feringa
The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2016

Born: 18 May 1951, Barger-Compascuum, the Netherlands

Affiliation at the time of the award: University of Groningen, Groningen, the Netherlands

Prize motivation: “for the design and synthesis of molecular machines”

Prize share: 1/3


Bernard Feringa was born in Barger-Compascuum in the Netherlands, where his family had a farm. He studied at the University of Groningen, where he received his PhD in 1978. After a few years at the Shell oil company in the Netherlands and Great Britain he has been affiliated to the university of Groningen. Bernard Feringa is married with two daughters.


We can imagine that the components of the smallest machines could be molecules. For a machine to function, its parts must be able to move relative to each other. Bernard Feringa has contributed to the development of molecular machines. For example, in 1999 he constructed a molecular motor by making a molecular rotor blade continuously spin in the same direction. In the future, molecular machines could be used for new materials, sensors, and energy storage systems.

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