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The art of building small

The research program of the Feringa group is focussed on synthetic and physical organic chemistry. Inspired by Nature's principles of molecular assembly, recognition, transport, motion and catalysis, the goal is to exploit the full potential of synthetic chemistry to create new structures and functions. A major part of the research is directed towards dynamic molecular systems. The focus is on molecular nanoscience, novel responsive materials and photo-pharma exploring biohybrid systems, self-assembly, molecular switches and motors. A second part of the program deals with the development (and application in chemical biology) of novel stereoselective synthesis methods and asymmetric catalysis. Chirality is a leading theme and over the years a unique and broad expertise in fundamental aspects of stereochemistry has been acquired including chiroptical phenomena, chiral amplification and origin of chirality.

Research program

Molecular Switches and Motors Asymmetric Catalysis Chirality Photopharma and Biohybrid Systems Self-assembly, Gels and Responsive Materials

Cooperative Frontier & Excellence programs

  • Centre for Systems Chemistry weblink
  • Gravity Program on Complex Molecular Systems (with RUN/Tue) weblink
  • Zernike plus program for Advanced Materials weblink
  • Netherlands top Research program on Catalysis NRSC-C weblink
  • NanoNext on Molecular Nanosciences weblink

Ben L. Feringa

Ben Feringa

Prof. Ben L. Feringa obtained his PhD. at the University of Groningen, where he was appointed full professor in 1988, after working as research scientist for Shell. Under his guidance the Feringa group has developed extensive expertise in the fields of organic chemistry, nanotechnology, asymmetric catalysis. His discovery of the molecular motor ranks highly among the many discoveries made over the years. (Read more.)

Latest news

Ben at the 25th Solvay Conference on Chermistry (Brussels)

Posted on 16-10-2019

Breakfast with the new CEO and other participants of the Solvay Company, before the 25th Solvay Conference on Chemistry starts. ... Read more


Research highlight

Easily Accessible, Highly Potent, Photocontrolled Modulators of Bacterial Communication

Posted on 16-04-2019

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graphical abstract

Mickel J. Hansen, Jacques I. C. Hille, Wiktor Szymanski, Arnold J.M. Driessen and Ben L. Feringa, Chem 2019 (DOI: 10.1016/j.chempr.2019.03.005)



Palladium-NHC Catalyzed Coupling of Organolithium Reagents at Low Temperature

Posted on 23-09-2019

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Most recent publications

  • Pumping a Ring-Sliding Molecular Motion by a Light-Powered Molecular Motor

    Jing-Jing Yu, Li-Yang Zhao, Zhao-Tao Shi, Qi Zhang, Gabor London, Wen-Jing Liang, Chuan Gao, Ming-Ming Li, Xiao-Ming Cao, He Tian, Ben L. Feringa and Da-Hui Qu, J. Org. Chem. 2019, 8 (49), 5790-5802 (DOI: 10.1021/acs.joc.9b00783)

  • Object Transportation System Mimicking the Cilia of Paramecium aurelia Making Use of the Light-Controllable Crystal Bending Behavior of a Photochromic Diarylethene

    Ryo Nishimura, Ayako Fujimoto, Nobuhiro Yasuda, Masakazu Morimoto, Tatsuhiro Nagasaka, Hikaru Sotome, Syoji Ito, Hiroshi Miyasaka, Satoshi Yokojima, Shinichiro Nakamura, Ben L. Feringa and Kingo Uchida, Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2019, 131 (DOI: 10.1002/ange.201907574)

  • Murahashi Cross-Coupling at -78 degrees C: A One-Pot Procedure for Sequential C-C/C-C, C-C/C-N, and C-C/C-S Cross-Coupling of Bromo-Chloro-Arenes

    Narayan Sinha, Dorus Heijnen, Ben L. Feringa and Michael G. Organ, Chem. Eur. J. 2019, 25, 9180-9184 (DOI: 10.1002/chem.201901678)