16 November 2017

The Art of Building Small

Debye Annual Lecture by Nobel Prize winner Ben Feringa

Prof. Ben Feringa will visit Utrecht University on Thursday 16 November to give his lecture The Art of Building Small. Ben Feringa (University of Groningen) was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2016, together with Jean-Pierre Sauvage and Sir James Fraser Stoddart, for their work on the development of molecular machines.

Molecular motors
The fascinating molecular motors and machines that sustain life offer a great source of inspiration to the molecular explorer at the nano scale. Among the major challenges ahead in the design of complex artificial molecular systems is the control over dynamic functions and responsive far-from-equilibrium behaviour. Chemical systems ultimately require integration of structure, organisation and function of multi-component dynamic molecular assemblies at different hierarchical levels. A major goal is to achieve and exploit translational and rotary motion.

Dynamic molecular systems
In his presentation, Ben Feringa will focus on the dynamics of functional molecular systems, as well as triggering and assembly processes. He will talk about designing switches and motors in which molecular motion is coupled to specific functions. Responsive behaviour will be illustrated in self-assembly and photopharmacology. The design, synthesis and functioning of rotary molecular motors will also be presented, with a prospect toward future dynamic molecular systems.

Debye Annual Lecture
Feringa’s presentation is this year’s Debye Annual Lecture. The Debye Lecture is a special annual event at which an internationally renowned scientist delivers a keynote lecture on one of the fields of interest of the Debye Institute for Nanomaterials Science.

More information
The lecture will begin at 16:00 in Theatron in the Educatorium building. Admission is free, and no reservations are required. There will be drinks after the lecture.