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Nobel Prize in Chemistry

The Nobel Prize in Chemistry is one of the Nobel Prizes established by Alfred Nobel, a Swedish inventor and scientist. The Nobel Prize in Chemistry is awarded annually and recognizes individuals in the field of Chemistry. As designated in the will of Alfred Nobel, the Nobel Prize in Chemistry shall be distributed "… to the person who shall have made the most important chemical discovery or improvement."


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Nobel Laureates
(Click on laureate names for biographies)

Year Winner Achievement
2008 Osamu Shimomura, Martin Chalfie, and Roger Y. Tsien "for the discovery and development of the green fluorescent protein, GFP"
2007 Gerhard Ertl "for his studies of chemical processes on solid surfaces"
2006 Roger D. Kornberg "for his studies of the molecular basis of eukaryotic transcription"
2005 Yves Chauvin,
Robert H. Grubbs, and Richard R. Schrock
"for the development of the metathesis method in organic synthesis"
2004 Aaron Ciechanover, Avram Hershko, and
Irwin Rose
"for the discovery of ubiquitin-mediated protein degradation"
2003 Peter Agre and
Roderick MacKinnon

"for discoveries concerning channels in cell membranes"

"for the discovery of water channels"

"for structural and mechanistic studies of ion channels"

2002 John B. Fenn and
Koichi Tanaka
"for the development of methods for identification and structure analyses of biological macromolecules"
"for their development of soft desorption ionisation methods for mass spectrometric analyses of biological macromolecules"
2002 Kurt Wüthrich "for his development of nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy for determining the three-dimensional structure of biological macromolecules in solution"
2001 William S. Knowles and Ryoji Noyori "for their work on chirally catalysed hydrogenation reactions"
2001 K. Barry Sharpless "for his work on chirally catalysed oxidation reactions"
2000 Alan Heeger,
Alan G. MacDiarmid, and Hideki Shirakawa
for the discovery and development of conductive polymers"
1999 Ahmed Zewail "for his studies of the transition states of chemical reactions using femtosecond spectroscopy"
1998 Walter Kohn "for his development of the density-functional theory"
1998 John Pople "for his development of computational methods in quantum chemistry"
1997 Paul D. Boyer and
John E. Walker
"for their elucidation of the enzymatic mechanism underlying the synthesis of adenosine
triphosphate (ATP)"
1997 Jens C. Skou "for the first discovery of an ion-transporting enzyme, Na+, K+ -ATPase"
1996 Robert F. Curl Jr.,
Sir Harold Kroto and Richard E. Smalley
"for their discovery of fullerenes"
1995 Paul J. Crutzen,
Mario J. Molina, and
F. Sherwood Rowland
"for their work in atmospheric chemistry, particularly concerning the formation and decomposition of ozone"
1994 George A. Olah "for his contribution to carbocation chemistry"
1993 Kary B. Mullis

"for contributions to the developments of methods within DNA-based chemistry"

"for his invention of the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) method"

1993 Michael Smith "for his fundamental contributions to the establishment of oligonucleotide-based, site-directed mutagenesis and its development for protein studies"
1992 Rudolph A. Marcus "for his contributions to the theory of electron transfer reactions in chemical systems"
1991 Richard R. Ernst "for his contributions to the development of the methodology of high resolution nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy" 
1990 Elias James Corey "for his development of the theory and methodology of organic synthesis"
1989 Sidney Altman and Thomas R. Cech "for their discovery of catalytic properties of RNA"
1988 Johann Deisenhofer, Robert Huber, and Hartmut Michel "for the determination of the three-dimensional structure of a photosynthetic reaction centre"
1987 Donald J. Cram,
Jean-Marie Lehn, and Charles J. Pedersen
"for their development and use of molecules with structure-specific interactions of high selectivity"
1986 Dudley R. Herschbach, Yuan T. Lee, and
John C. Polanyi
"for their contributions concerning the dynamics of chemical elementary processes"
1985 Herbert A. Hauptman and Jerome Karle "for their outstanding achievements in the development of direct methods for the determination of crystal structures"
1984 Bruce Merrifield "for his development of methodology for chemical synthesis on a solid matrix"
1983 Henry Taube "for his work on the mechanisms of electron transfer reactions, especially in metal complexes"
1982 Aaron Klug "for his development of crystallographic electron microscopy and his structural elucidation of biologically important nucleic acid-protein complexes"
1981 Kenichi Fukui and
Roald Hoffmann
"for their theories, developed independently, concerning the course of chemical reactions"
1980 Paul Berg "for his fundamental studies of the biochemistry of nucleic acids, with particular regard to recombinant-DNA"
1980 Walter Gilbert and Frederick Sanger "for their contributions concerning the determination of base sequences in nucleic acids"
1979 Herbert C. Brown and Georg Wittig "for their development of the use of boron- and phosphorus-containing compounds, respectively, into important reagents in organic synthesis"
1978 Peter Mitchell "for his contribution to the understanding of biological energy transfer through the formulation of the chemiosmotic theory"
1977 Ilya Prigogine "for his contributions to non-equilibrium thermodynamics, particularly the theory of dissipative structures"
1976 William Lipscomb "for his studies on the structure of boranes illuminating problems of chemical bonding"
1975 John Cornforth "for his work on the stereochemistry of enzyme-catalyzed reactions"
1975 Vladimir Prelog "for his research into the stereochemistry of organic molecules and reactions"
1974 Paul J. Flory "for his fundamental achievements, both theoretical and experimental, in the physical chemistry of the macromolecules"
1973 Ernst Otto Fischer and Geoffrey Wilkinson "for their pioneering work, performed independently, on the chemistry of the organometallic, so called sandwich compounds"
1972 Christian Anfinsen "for his work on ribonuclease, especially concerning the connection between the amino acid sequence and the biologically active conformation"
1972 Stanford Moore and William H. Stein "for their contribution to the understanding of the connection between chemical structure and catalytic activity of the active centre of the ribonuclease molecule"
1971 Gerhard Herzberg "for his contributions to the knowledge of electronic structure and geometry of molecules, particularly free radicals"
1970 Luis Leloir "for his discovery of sugar nucleotides and their role in the biosynthesis of carbohydrates"
1969 Derek Barton and
Odd Hassel
"for their contributions to the development of the concept of conformation and its application in chemistry"
1968 Lars Onsager "for the discovery of the reciprocal relations bearing his name, which are fundamental for the thermodynamics of irreversible processes"
1967 Manfred Eigen,
Ronald G.W. Norrish, and George Porter
"for their studies of extremely fast chemical reactions, effected by disturbing the equlibrium by means of very short pulses of energy"
1966 Robert S. Mulliken "for his fundamental work concerning chemical bonds and the electronic structure of molecules by the molecular orbital method"
1965 Robert B. Woodward "for his outstanding achievements in the art of organic synthesis"
1964 Dorothy Crowfoot Hodgkin "for her determinations by X-ray techniques of the structures of important biochemical substances"
1963 Karl Ziegler "for their discoveries in the field of the chemistry and technology of high polymers"
1962 Max F. Perutz and
John C. Kendrew
"for their studies of the structures of globular proteins"
1961 Melvin Calvin "for his research on the carbon dioxide assimilation in plants"
1960 Willard F. Libby "for his method to use carbon-14 for age determination in archaeology, geology, geophysics, and other branches of science"
1959 Jaroslav Heyrovsky "for his discovery and development of the polarographic methods of analysis"
1958 Frederick Sanger "for his work on the structure of proteins, especially that of insulin"
1957 Lord Todd "for his work on nucleotides and nucleotide co-enzymes"
1956 Sir Cyril Hinshelwood and Nikolay Semenov "for their researches into the mechanism of chemical reactions"
1955 Vincent du Vigneaud "for his work on biochemically important sulphur compounds, especially for the first synthesis of a polypeptide hormone"
1954 Linus Pauling "for his research into the nature of the chemical bond and its application to the elucidation of the structure of complex substances"
1953 Hermann Staudinger "for his discoveries in the field of macromolecular chemistry"
1952 Archer J.P. Martin and Richard L.M. Synge "for their invention of partition chromatography"
1951 Edwin M. McMillan and Glenn T. Seaborg "for their discoveries in the chemistry of the transuranium elements"
1950 Otto Diels and Kurt Alder "for their discovery and development of the diene synthesis"
1949 William F. Giauque "for his contributions in the field of chemical thermodynamics, particularly concerning the behaviour of substances at extremely low temperatures"
1948 Arne Tiselius "for his research on electrophoresis and adsorption analysis, especially for his discoveries concerning the complex nature of the serum proteins"
1947 Sir Robert Robinson "for his investigations on plant products of biological importance, especially the alkaloids"
1946 James B. Sumner "for his discovery that enzymes can be crystallized"
1946 John H. Northrop and Wendell M. Stanley "for their preparation of enzymes and virus proteins in a pure form"
1945 Artturi Virtanen "for his research and inventions in agricultural and nutrition chemistry, especially for his fodder preservation method"
1944 Otto Hahn "for his discovery of the fission of heavy nuclei"
1943 George de Hevesy "for his work on the use of isotopes as tracers in the study of chemical processes"
1942 The prize money was with 1/3 allocated to the Main Fund and with 2/3 to the Special Fund of this prize section
1941 The prize money was with 1/3 allocated to the Main Fund and with 2/3 to the Special Fund of this prize section
1940 The prize money was with 1/3 allocated to the Main Fund and with 2/3 to the Special Fund of this prize section
1939 Adolf Butenandt "for his work on sex hormones"
1939 Leopold Ruzicka "for his work on polymethylenes and higher terpenes"
1938 Richard Kuhn "for his work on carotenoids and vitamins"
1937 Norman Haworth "for his investigations on carbohydrates and vitamin C"
1937 Paul Karrer "for his investigations on carotenoids, flavins and vitamins A and B2"
1936 Peter Debye "for his contributions to our knowledge of molecular structure through his investigations on dipole moments and on the diffraction of X-rays and electrons in gases"
1935 Frédéric Joliot and
Irène Joliot-Curie
"in recognition of their synthesis of new radioactive elements"
1934 Harold C. Urey "for his discovery of heavy hydrogen"
1933 The prize money was with 1/3 allocated to the Main Fund and with 2/3 to the Special Fund of this prize section
1932 Irving Langmuir "for his discoveries and investigations in surface chemistry"
1931 Carl Bosch and
Friedrich Bergius
"in recognition of their contributions to the invention and development of chemical high pressure methods"
1930 Hans Fischer "for his researches into the constitution of haemin and chlorophyll and especially for his synthesis of haemin"
1929 Arthur Harden and
Hans von Euler-Chelpin
"for their investigations on the fermentation of sugar and fermentative enzymes"
1928 Adolf Windaus "for the services rendered through his research into the constitution of the sterols and their connection with the vitamins"
1927 Heinrich Wieland "for his investigations of the constitution of the bile acids and related substances"
1926 The Svedberg "for his work on disperse systems"
1925 Richard Zsigmondy "for his demonstration of the heterogenous nature of colloid solutions and for the methods he used, which have since become fundamental in modern colloid chemistry"
1924 The prize money was allocated to the Special Fund of this prize section
1923 Fritz Pregl "for his invention of the method of micro-analysis of organic substances"
1922 Francis W. Aston "for his discovery, by means of his mass spectrograph, of isotopes, in a large number of non-radioactive elements, and for his enunciation of the whole-number rule"
1921 Frederick Soddy "for his contributions to our knowledge of the chemistry of radioactive substances, and his investigations into the origin and nature of isotopes"
1920 Walther Nernst "in recognition of his work in thermochemistry"
1919 The prize money was allocated to the Special Fund of this prize section
1918 Fritz Haber "for the synthesis of ammonia from its elements"
1917 The prize money was allocated to the Special Fund of this prize section
1916 The prize money was allocated to the Special Fund of this prize section
1915 Richard Willstätter "for his researches on plant pigments, especially chlorophyll"
1914 Theodore W. Richards "in recognition of his accurate determinations of the atomic weight of a large number of chemical elements"
1913 Alfred Werner "in recognition of his work on the linkage of atoms in molecules by which he has thrown new light on earlier investigations and opened up new fields of research especially in inorganic chemistry"
1912 Victor Grignard "for the discovery of the so-called Grignard reagent, which in recent years has greatly advanced the progress of organic chemistry"
1912 Paul Sabatier "for his method of hydrogenating organic compounds in the presence of finely disintegrated metals whereby the progress of organic chemistry has been greatly advanced in recent years"
1911 Marie Curie "in recognition of her services to the advancement of chemistry by the discovery of the elements radium and polonium, by the isolation of radium and the study of the nature and compounds of this remarkable element"
1910 Otto Wallach "in recognition of his services to organic chemistry and the chemical industry by his pioneer work in the field of alicyclic compounds"
1909 Wilhelm Ostwald "in recognition of his work on catalysis and for his investigations into the fundamental principles governing chemical equilibria and rates of reaction"
1908 Ernest Rutherford "for his investigations into the disintegration of the elements, and the chemistry of radioactive substances"
1907 Eduard Buchner "for his biochemical researches and his discovery of cell-free fermentation"
1906 Henri Moissan "in recognition of the great services rendered by him in his investigation and isolation of the element fluorine, and for the adoption in the service of science of the electric furnace called after him"
1905 Adolf von Baeyer "in recognition of his services in the advancement of organic chemistry and the chemical industry, through his work on organic dyes and hydroaromatic compounds"
1904 Sir William Ramsay "in recognition of his services in the discovery of the inert gaseous elements in air, and his determination of their place in the periodic system"
1903 Svante Arrhenius "in recognition of the extraordinary services he has rendered to the advancement of chemistry by his electrolytic theory of dissociation"


1902 Emil Fischer "in recognition of the extraordinary services he has rendered by his work on sugar and purine syntheses"
1901 Jacobus H. van 't Hoff "in recognition of the extraordinary services he has rendered by the discovery of the laws of chemical dynamics and osmotic pressure in solutions">

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