October 5, 2016

NANOTECHNOLOGY UPDATE: Nobel Prize in chemistry goes to scientists who made molecular machines.

Three scientists whose independent work led to the development of molecular machines with controllable movement won the 2016 Nobel Prize in chemistry, the organization announced Wednesday.

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences awarded the prize to Jean-Pierre Sauvage, Sir J. Fraser Stoddart and Bernard L. Feringa, who will share a prize of nearly $1 million.

“The development of computing demonstrates how the miniaturization of technology can lead to a revolution,” The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences wrote in a statement. “The 2016 Nobel laureates in chemistry have miniaturized machines and taken chemistry to a new dimension.” . . .

The academy added that this year’s chemistry Nobel laureates took “molecular systems out of equilibrium’s stalemate and into energy-filled states in which their movements can be controlled.”

“In terms of development, the molecular motor is at the same stage as the electric motor was in the 1830s, when scientists displayed various spinning cranks and wheels, unaware that they would lead to electric trains, washing machines, fans and food processors,” the academy wrote. “Molecular machines will most likely be used in the development of things such as new materials, sensors and energy storage systems.”

I’ve been writing about this stuff for a long time. It’s nice to see it becoming reality. Meanwhile, the Foresight Guidelines for responsible nanotechnology development are worth mentioning again.

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