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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 visits Meander College Zwolle

Posted on 13-11-2018

Ben gave a lecture for approx. 400 HAVO and VWO students. He was invited by the student association Goochem to share his passion for science with the pupils and tell them about his work that led to the Nobelprize. The students reacted very positive ... Read more


Research highlight

Light‐Gated Rotation in a Molecular Motor Functionalized with a Dithienylethene Switch

Posted on 2018-010-11

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graphical abstract

Diederik Roke Constantin Stuckhardt Wojciech Danowski Dr. Sander J. Wezenberg Prof. Dr. Ben L. Feringa, ANGEWANDTE CHEMIE-INTERNATIONAL EDITION, 2018, 57, 10515 (DOI: 10.1002/anie.201802392)



A photo made by Dusan Kolarski is published in C&EN.

Posted on 17-10-2018

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Chemistry in Pictures: Let there be light


Most recent publications

  • Photoactivation of MDM2 Inhibitors: Controlling Protein–Protein Interaction with Light

    Mickel J. Hansen, Femke M. Feringa, Piermichele Kobauri, Wiktor Szymanski†§ , René H. Medema*‡, and Ben L. Feringa*† , J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2018, 140 (41), pp 13136–13141 (DOI: 10.1021/jacs.8b04870)

  • Molecular Motors in Aqueous Environment

    Anouk S. Lubbe, Christian Böhmer, Filippo Tosi, Wiktor Szymanski* , and Ben L. Feringa* , J. Org. Chem. 2018, 83, 18, 11008-11018 (DOI: 10.1021/acs.joc.8b01627)

  • Molecular rotary motors: Unidirectional motion around double bonds

    Diederik Rokea , Sander J. Wezenberga,, and Ben L. Feringa, PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, 2018, 115, 38, 9423-9431 (DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1712784115)