Ben Feringa

The Joy of Discovery

Category: Lectures

Date: 26 June 2017

Duration: 31 min

Quality: HD SD

Ben Feringa (2017) - The Joy of Discovery


Exploring across the current frontiers of chemical sciences there is vast uncharted territory to experience the joy of discovery. Far beyond Nature’s design, the creative power of synthetic chemistry provides unlimited opportunities to realize our own molecular world as we experience every day with products ranging from drugs to displays that sustain modern society. In their practice of the art of building small, chemists have shown amazing success in the past decades. Moving from molecules to dynamic molecular systems the fundamental challenge is how to control and exploit motion at the nanoscale.

Among the major challenges ahead in the design of complex artificial molecular systems is the control over dynamic functions and responsive far-from-equilibrium behaviour. A major goal is to gain control over translational and rotary motion. In this presentation the focus is on my journey in the world of molecular switches and motors, the process of discovery and my personal experiences through my scientific career. In particular I will address how fundamental questions and molecular beauty have guided me on this journey.

Information on

Molecular Machines: Nature, September 2015
Molecular Switches: Chemistry World, June 2016


A motor molecule with rotary cycle
A motor molecule with rotary cycle