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Images of Nobel-winning motors by Ben Feringa

20 December 2016

University of Groningen Ben Feringa's shared Nobel prize for Chemistry was the absolute highlight of 2016. We like to cherish this experience by sharing these five illustrations of motormolecules made by Feringa. All five were constructed in the same way. On the left is the chemical structure, on the right the visualisation by illustrator Paul de Vreede.

In yellow: the motor-part of the molecule, which will rotate driven by light.

In green: the double carbon bond which is broken by the light and then acts as rotation axle.

In red: a molecular group which determines the direction of rotation.

In grey or white: molecular spacers, not light sensitive, used to connect the motor to other molecules.

The white arrow indicates direction of movement.

All illustrations may be used under Creative Commons licence BY-NC-SA 4.0.

An overview of our reporting on the Nobel Prize for Ben Feringa can be found in: Ben Feringa awarded the 2016 Nobel Prize for Chemistry

Last modified:20 December 2016 2.44 p.m.
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