The Nobel Prize in Chemistry

Chemistry Laureates

Chemistry Prizes and Laureates

2017 Chemistry Laureates. Ill: N. Elmehed. © Nobel Media 2017 2017 Chemistry Laureates. Ill: N. Elmehed. © Nobel Media 2017

2017 Nobel Prize in Chemistry

The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2017 was awarded to Jacques Dubochet, Joachim Frank and Richard Henderson “for developing cryo-electron microscopy for the high-resolution structure determination of biomolecules in solution”.

More about the 2017 Chemistry Prize

The Nobel Medal for Physics and Chemistry. Registered trademark of the Nobel Foundation. © ® The Nobel Foundation

Awarded to 178 Nobel Laureates since 1901

“The said interest shall be divided into five equal parts, which shall be apportioned as follows: /- – -/ one part to the person who shall have made the most important chemical discovery or improvement …”

(Excerpt from the will of Alfred Nobel)

Chemistry was the most important science for Alfred Nobel’s own work. The development of his inventions as well as the industrial processes he employed were based upon chemical knowledge. Chemistry was the second prize area that Nobel mentioned in his will.

The Nobel Prize in Chemistry is awarded by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, Stockholm, Sweden.

Most Popular Chemistry Laureates


The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 1901-2000

During the beginning of the 20th century chemistry flourished, and that time is intimately connected with fundamental developments.

Article: The development of modern chemistry


Nobel Prizes in Chemistry have been awarded between 1901 and 2017.


Chemistry Prizes have been given to one Laureate only.


women have been awarded the Chemistry Prize so far.


person, Frederick Sanger, has been awarded the Chemistry Prize twice, in 1958 and in 1980.


years was the age of the youngest Chemistry Laureate ever, Frédéric Joliot, who was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1935.


years was the age of the oldest Chemistry Laureate, John B. Fenn, when he was awarded the Chemistry Prize in 2002.


is the average age of the Nobel Laureates in Chemistry the year they were awarded the prize.

All facts and figures about the Nobel Prize in Chemistry

Ahmed Zewail

“This is the last 20 minutes of peace in your life …”

Ahmed Zewail, 1999 Nobel Laureate in Chemistry, recalls the moment he got to know that he was awarded the Nobel Prize.

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Many Facets

Learn about chemistry’s many facets and why would one claim that chemistry is the ‘queen of all sciences’.

Watch the video ‘Beyond the Textbook’



Explore how Nobel Laureates compare their own research to the adventures of Huckleberry Finn.

Watch the video ‘The Life of a Chemist’

Colour explosion

A Beautiful Science

From molecules to equations to experiments, learn how and why chemistry is beautiful.

Watch the video ‘Beauty’

2016 Chemistry Prize

Nanocar. Ill: J. Jarnestad/The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences Nanocar. Ill: J. Jarnestad/The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences

They Developed the World’s Smallest Machines

The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2016 was awarded jointly to Jean-Pierre Sauvage, Sir J. Fraser Stoddart and Bernard L. Feringa “for the design and synthesis of molecular machines”.

More about the 2016 Chemistry Prize

Sir J. Fraser Stoddart. © Nobel Media AB 2016

“Diversity really does enrich the process of discovery and invention”

Interview with Sir Fraser Stoddart following the announcement of the 2016 Nobel Prize in Chemistry.

Interview with Sir Fraser Stoddart

Jean-Pierre Sauvage. © Nobel Media AB 2016

“Chemical topology is the precursor to molecular machines”

During the Nobel Week, Jean-Pierre Sauvage delivered his Nobel Lecture “From Chemical Topology to Molecular Machines”.

Watch Jean-Pierre Sauvage’s lecture

Bernard L. Feringa. © Nobel Media AB 2016

“Our goal is bringing forward the human knowledge”

Listen to Bernard L. Feringa’s thoughts about his research, breakthrough, inventions and the Nobel Prize.

Interview with Bernard L. Feringa

DNA. Ill: © Johan Jarnestad/The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences Ill: © Johan Jarnestad/The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences

DNA Repair – Providing Chemical Stability for Life

The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2015 was awarded jointly to Tomas Lindahl, Paul Modrich and Aziz Sancar.

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Tomas Lindahl.  Photo: A. Mahmoud

“This turned out to be a minor disaster”

In this video interview, Tomas Lindahl recalls a change of schools and teachers in his youth, what brought him to science, what motivates him, and much more.

Watch to interview

Paul Modrich. Photo: A. Mahmoud

“When I was 15, I came across an ad for a set of radioisotopes …”

Paul Modrich describes in his biography the way to science through experimenting at home.

Read the biography

Aziz Sancar. Photo: A. Mahmoud

“Nothing was known about the specific functions of these genes at the time”

Aziz Sancar presented his work on photolyase and nucleotide excision repair in his Nobel Lecture

Read or watch the lecture

The principles of STED-microscopy. Ill: J. Jarnestad/The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences

The Optical Microscope Became a Nanoscope

The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2014 was awarded jointly to Eric Betzig, Stefan W. Hell and William E. Moerner.

More about the Chemistry Prize

Eric Betzig lecturing

“We knew we had to work fast”

Eric Betzig dedicated his Nobel Lecture about super-resolution optics to “all people taking risks but in the end failed”.

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Stefan W. Hell

“What I discovered is that you can overcome this barrier”

Watch Stefan W. Hell give a short and simple explanation of the fluorescence microscope.

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William E. Moerner

“A single molecule is incredibly tiny”

William E. Moerner describes his Nobel Prize awarded work in easy-to-understand terms.

Watch the interview clip