He 65-year-old Dutchman shares the prize with Frenchman Jean-Pierre Sauvage and Briton James Frazer Stoddart. They conduct research into molecular motors.
Feringa doctorate in 1978 in Groningen and then worked for several years at Shell. In 1988 he became professor of organic chemistry at the University of Groningen. Since 2006 he is member of the Royal Dutch Academy of Sciences. On the board, he is vice chairman.
At NPO Radio 1 responded Feringa delighted at the award of the prize: "This is the dream of every scientist, I can not deny that I also have dreamed There are tens of thousands of good chemists, so it's a big surprise if you. will be selected. It is moving, I did get emotional. "
The molecular motor was invented by Feringa in 1999. Or rather, a synthetic variant thereof, for molecular motors already exist in abundance in nature. They are small machines the size of a molecule, which consist of a fixed part and a rotating part. In a laboratory, they can be made by means of chemical reactions.
The first synthetic molecular motor made one revolution per hour. Nowadays, that three million rotations per second. In 2011, Feringa was the first in the world who managed to make such a tiny device that keeps turning under the influence of light.
Promise for future
Practical applications are not there yet because it is still unclear what molecular motors behave exactly. They also carry no cargo yet. At NPO Radio 1 Feringa said he has laid the foundation with his colleagues for a new field in science. "I often feel like the Wright Brothers, who first built a primitive plane. No one knew exactly what was you doing with it."
But in this case it is clear that the promise is great for the future. For example, molecular motors could search in the human body to cancer cells and which switch off, or in diabetic patients at the correct moment can deliver insulin.
Since the Nobel Prize was first awarded in 1901, following the Dutch have won one:
2016 Chemistry: Ben Feringa.
2010 Physics: Andre Geim.
1999 Physics: Gerard 't Hooft and Martinus Veltman.
1995 Chemistry: Paul Crutzen.
1984 Physics: Simon van der Meer.
1981, Physics Nico Flower Mountain.
1975 Economy: Tjalling Koopmans.
1973 Physiology or Medicine: Niko Tinbergen.
1969 Economy: Jan Tinbergen.
1953 Physics: Frits Zernike.
1936 Chemistry: Peter Debye.
1929 Physiology or Medicine: Christiaan Eijkman.
1924 Physiology or Medicine: Willem Einthoven.
1913 Physics: Heike Kamerlingh Onnes.
1911 Peace: Tobias Asser.
1910 Physics: Johannes Diderik van der Waals.
1902 Physics: Hendrik Lorentz and Pieter Zeeman.
1901 Chemistry: Jacobus Henricus van 't Hof.
The NOS Editors: Photo: NOS