This year’s Theodor Förster Memorial Lecture was given by Professor Ben Feringa, University of Groningen, The Netherlands, on September 30, 2014, at the 24th Lecture Conference on Photochemistry, which takes place in Cologne, Germany, from September 29 through October 1.
The lecture, one of the most important photochemistry awards worldwide, is awarded by the German Chemical Society (Gesellschaft Deutscher Chemiker, GDCh) together with the German Bunsen Society for Physical Chemistry (Deutsche Bunsengesellschaft, DBG), and honors Feringa’s outstanding work involving photochemistry, namely developing photochemically controlled molecular switches and motors.
Ben Feringa studied chemistry at the University of Groningen, The Netherlands, where he obtained his PhD in 1978 for research supervised by Professor Hans Wynberg. After working as a research scientist at Shell in the Netherlands and the UK, he returned to the University of Groningen as a lecturer and in 1988 he was promoted to full professor. He was named the Jacobus H. van’t Hoff Distinguished Professor of Molecular Sciences in 2004.
Feringa was elected Foreign Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and member of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Sciences. In 2008 he was appointed Academy Professor and was knighted by Her Majesty the Queen of the Netherlands. Among others honors, his research has been recognized with the Spinoza Award (the highest scientific distinction in the Netherlands), the Prelog Gold Medal, the Paracelsus Medal, and the Nagoya Gold Medal.
Professor Feringa’s work focuses on stereochemistry, organic synthesis, asymmetric catalysis, molecular switches and motors, self-assembly and molecular nanosystems.
- Asymmetric Synthesis of First Generation Molecular Motors,
Thomas M. Neubauer, Thomas van Leeuwen, Depeng Zhao, Anouk S. Lubbe, Jos C. M. Kistemaker, Ben L. Feringa,
Org. Lett. 2014, 16, 4220–4223.
- Photocaging of Carboxylic Acids: A Modular Approach,
Wiktor Szymański, Willem A. Velema, Ben L. Feringa,
Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2014, 53, 8682–8686.
- New Functional Materials Based on Self-Assembling Organogels: From Serendipity towards Design,
Jan H. van Esch, Ben L. Feringa,
Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2000, 39, 2263–2266.
- Phosphoramidites: Marvellous Ligands in Catalytic Asymmetric Conjugate Addition,
Ben L. Feringa,
Acc. Chem. Res. 2000, 33, 346–353.
- Organic materials for reversible optical data storage,
Ben L. Feringa, Wolter F. Jager, Ben de Lange,
Tetrahedron 1993, 49, 8267–8310.