J. Fraser Stoddart

Northwestern University


Primary Section: 14, Chemistry
Secondary Section: 33, Applied Physical Sciences
Membership Type: Member (elected 2014)

Biosketch

Fraser Stoddart, 2016 Nobel Laureate in Chemistry, is presently a Board of Trustees Professor at Northwestern University. Stoddart pioneered the development of the use of molecular recognition and self-assembly processes in template-directed protocols for the synthesis of two-state mechanically interlocked molecules, i.e., bistable catenanes and rotaxanes that have been employed as molecular switches and in molecular machines. He obtained all his degrees from Edinburgh University and has spent time at Queen’s University in Canada, Imperial Chemical Industries, the Universities of Sheffield and Birmingham in the UK and the University of California, Los Angeles. During the past five decades, Stoddart has mentored >500 graduate students and postdoctoral scholars from 50 different countries. He was made a Knight Bachelor by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II in 2007 for his services to chemistry and molecular nanotechnology. Stoddart is a Fellow of the Royal Society of London and an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. His awards include the King Faisal International Prize in Science (2007), the Albert Einstein World Award of Science (2007), and the Royal Medal (2010). He is a Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Inventors, and a Foreign Member of the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

Research Interests

Stoddart is one of the few chemists of the past 35 years to have created a new field of organic chemistry - namely, one in which the mechanical bond is a pre-eminent feature of molecular compounds. He has pioneered the development of the use of molecular recognition and self-assembly processes in template-directed protocols for the syntheses of two-state mechanically interlocked molecules (MIMs), i.e., bistable catenanes and rotaxanes, that have been employed as molecular switches in the fabrication of molecular electronic devices (MEDs) and NanoElectroMechanical Systems (NEMS) and in the development of artificial molecular machines (AMMs). It was for this research that he was awarded, along with Jean-Pierre Sauvage (Strasbourg) and Ben Feringa (Groningen), the 2016 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for "The Design and Synthesis of Molecular Machines."

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