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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.
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.