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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

ChemPubSoc Europe Fellows 2016/2017

Posted on 13-8-2018

ChemPubSoc Europe is proud to announce its new Fellows at the 7th EuChemS Congress for their outstanding services. The Fellows listed below were nominated to honor their extraordinary support and contributions towards the European joint publishing ... Read more


Research highlight

The (photo)chemistry of Stenhouse photoswitches: guiding principles and system design

Posted on 2018-05-16

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graphical abstract



Molecular motors in a tight spot

Posted on 2018-07-23

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Most recent publications

  • Cation-Modulated Rotary Speed in a Light-Driven Crown Ether Functionalized Molecular Motor

    Ruth Dorel , Carla Miró, Yuchen Wei, Sander J. Wezenberg , and Ben L. Feringa* , Org. Lett. 20, 13, 3715-3718 (DOI: 10.1021/acs.orglett.8b00969)

  • Solvent Effects on the Actinic Step of Donor–Acceptor Stenhouse Adduct Photoswitching

    Michael M. Lerch, Mariangela Di Donato, Adèle D. Laurent, Miroslav Medved, Alessandro Iagatti, Laura Bussotti, Andrea Lapini, Wybren Jan Buma, Paolo Foggi, Wiktor Szymański, Ben L. Feringa, ANGEWANDTE CHEMIE-INTERNATIONAL EDITION, 2018, 8063-8068 (DOI: 10.1002/anie.201803058)

  • Solvent Mixing To Induce Molecular Motor Aggregation into Bowl Shaped Particles: Underlying Mechanism, Particle Nature, and Application To Control Motor Behavior

    Linda E. Franken , Yuchen Wei , Jiawen Chen, Egbert J. Boekema, Depeng Zhao , Marc C. A. Stuart, and Ben L. Feringa , J. Am. Chem. Soc. 140, 25, 7860-7868 (DOI: 10.1021/jacs.8b03045)