Have you imagined that the world’s tiniest machines exist? To make that real, three scientists have developed World’s Smallest Machines. The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences had announced three European chemists won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry Category on Wednesday.
Researchers Jean-Pierre Sauvage, Bernard Feringa, and Sir J. Fraser Stoddart are awarded the Nobel Prize for their work in designing and synthesis of molecular machines. These three researchers have made possible existing of Nanomachines.
They had turned organic molecules into nano-machines with the components 1000 smaller than the width of a human hair. Last year, the Nobel Prize in Chemistry was awarded to Tomas Lindahl, Paul L. Modrich, and Aziz Sancar.
“The development of computing demonstrates how the miniaturization of technology can lead to a revolution,” said the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences which awards the prize. They also added, “The 2016 laureates in chemistry have miniaturized machines and taken chemistry to a new dimension.”
In 1983, the Sauvage team was the first to create molecular interlocking chains and the rings which were called as catenanes. Stoddart himself, in 1991 created first molecule shuttle, a ring-shaped molecule threaded onto an axle called rotaxane. In 1999, Feringa was the first to create a synthetic motor which is a single molecule with paddle units connected by carbon-carbon double bonds.
“I’m a bit shocked because it was such a great surprise. And I’m so honoured,” said Feringa in an interview with the Nobel Committee just after winning the prize.
“I applaud the fact that for once in chemistry Stockholm [where the Nobels are announced] has recognized a piece of chemistry that is fundamental in its making and being,” Stoddart said at a press conference at Northwestern University.
“It’s early days, of course,” Feringa told the Nobel Committee. “But once you can control movement, you have a motor, and you can think of all kinds of functions.”
A good thing comes in small packages, and a prestigious thing comes in molecular packages. The trio-researchers have made this possible. Currently, they are working on Microscopic Drug Delivery System and Property-changing Materials.