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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 speaks at the 67th Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting

Posted on 26-6-2-17

The 67th Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting (25-30 June) has started and is dedicated to chemistry. 28 Nobel Laureates will meet 420 international young scientists.

Ben will present a lecture titled "the Joy of Discovery".
Also attending ... Read more


Research highlight

Locked synchronous rotor motion in a molecular motor

Posted on 2017-06-02

Read more

graphical abstract

Peter Štacko, Jos C. M. Kistemaker, Thomas van Leeuwen, Mu-Chieh Chang, Edwin Otten, Ben L. Feringa, Science, 2017, 356, 964-968 (DOI: 10.1126/science.aam8808))



Molecular motor turns rotor

Posted on 2017-06-10

Read more

graphical abstract


Most recent publications

  • Locked synchronous rotor motion in a molecular motor

    Peter Štacko, Jos C. M. Kistemaker, Thomas van Leeuwen, Mu-Chieh Chang, Edwin Otten, Ben L. Feringa, Science, 2017, 356, 964-968 (DOI: 10.1126/science.aam8808)

  • Artificial molecular motors

    Salma Kassem, Thomas van Leeuwen, Anouk S. Lubbe, Miriam R. Wilson, Ben L. Feringa and David A. Leigh, Chem. Soc. Rev., 2017,46, 2592-2621 (DOI: 10.1039/C7CS00245A)

  • Bifunctional Molecular Photoswitches Based on Overcrowded Alkenes for Dynamic Control of Catalytic Activity in Michael Addition Reactions

    Stefano F. Pizzolato, Beatrice S. L. Collins, Thomas van Leeuwen, Ben L. Feringa, CHEMISTRY-A EUROPEAN JOURNAL, 2017, 23, 6174-6184 (DOI: 10.1002/chem.201604966)