Wednesday, October 5th, 2016

European trio wins chemistry Nobel prize for developing “nano-machines”

Jayakrishnan VU | October 5, 2016 11:00 pm Print
For their path breaking innovation of “nano-machines”, that could lead to creation of world’s first smart materials, Sir Fraser Stoddart, Bernard Feringa and Jean-Pierre Sauvage were conferred with Nobel prize-2016, announced Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences..

Sir Fraser Stoddart, from Scotland, Bernard Feringa, from the Netherlands and Jean-Pierre Sauvage, France have been given the this years Nobel Prize in Chemistry for their revolutionary research in inventing “nano-machines”, announced the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences in Stockholm.

The trio have been selected for the prestigious Nobel Prize carrying 8m Swedish kronor (£718,000) stated the Academy members on Wednesday at Stockholm.

The Committee will announce the names of the Nobel awardees of peace prize on Friday and  for economics on Monday.

The international-team created the path breaking “nano-machines”, that could lead to creation of world’s first smart materials.
Development of these machines is considered as a ‘revolutionary’ step in science added the Academy.
Their discoveries have opened up new vistas in wide areas like drug delivery, smart materials and artificial life, reported Guardian.

Nobel prize is instituted by Swedish inventor Alfred Nobel. The trio bagged world’s most prestigious award given in science for their pioneering work on developing world’s smallest machines, added the Committee.
These scientists developed molecules with controllable movements, which can perform a task when energy is added.

The scientists’ inventions helped to take chemistry to a new dimension, added experts.

The initial step towards developing a molecular machine was taken by Jean-Pierre Sauvage in 1983, when he succeeded in linking two ring-shaped molecules together to form a chain, called a catenane. Normally, molecules are joined by strong covalent bonds in which the atoms share electrons, but in the chain they were instead linked by a freer mechanical bond. For a machine to be able to perform a task it must consist of parts that can move relative to each other. The two interlocked rings fulfilled exactly this requirement.

The second step was taken by Fraser Stoddart in 1991, when he developed a rotaxane. He threaded a molecular ring onto a thin molecular axle and demonstrated that the ring was able to move along the axle. Among his developments based on rotaxanes are a molecular lift, a molecular muscle and a molecule-based computer chip, said the Committee.

Jayakrishnan VU