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Department of Chemistry


Durham Lecture Series 2016

Presented by Sir J Fraser Stoddart, Northwestern University

The Durham Lecture Series 2016 ran from June 20th - 24th. Sir J Fraser Stoddart presented 3 lectures.

Tues 21st June, “The Nature of the Mechanical Bond: From Molecules to Machines”, 14:30, CG91

Weds 22nd June, “Serendipity at Work”, 14:30, CG93

Thur 23rd June, “Cooperative Capture Rotaxane Synthesis”, 16:00, CG85

Professor Stoddart is a Board of Trustees Professor of Chemistry at Northwestern University, and was previously the Saul Winstein Professor of Chemistry (1997–2002) at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) before serving as the Fred Kavli Chair of NanoSystems Sciences and Director of the California NanoSystems Institute (CNSI) from 2002–2007.

For most of his career, Fraser has pioneered the development of the mechanical bond, exploiting modern molecular recognition processes and self-assembly techniques to direct the synthesis of complex molecular entanglements in solution and integrated nanosystems in the solid state, which preserve the dynamic interactions of their constituent components. Current research in the Stoddart laboratory spans fundamental investigations to real-world applications, ranging from the development of persistent organic radicals and abiotic molecular machines to separation/reclamation science, high performance organic lithium-ion batteries, room temperature ferroelectrics, and fluorescent dyes for solid-state encryption and fraud detection. By aiding and abetting the introduction of yet another type of chemical bond — the mechanical bond — into molecules, Fraser has become one of few chemists to have opened up a new field of chemistry during the past 25 years.

Fraser obtained all his degrees (BSc, PhD, DSc) from Edinburgh University and has spent time at Queen’s University in Canada (1967–1970), Imperial Chemical Industries’ Corporate Laboratory (1978–1981), as well as at the Universities of Sheffield (1970–1990) and Birmingham (1990–1997) in the UK, before relocating to the United States in 1997.

He was appointed as Knight Bachelor by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II during her 2007 New Year’s Honours List in recognition of his services to chemistry and molecular nanotechnology. His many awards include the Albert Einstein World Prize in Nanotechnology (2007), the Feynman Prize in Nanotechnology (2007) and the Centenary Prize from the Royal Society of Chemistry (2014). He is an elected Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (2012) and a Member of the National Academy of Sciences (2014).

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Durham Lecturers

  • 2018 
    Prof. Nicola Spaldin
  • 2017 
    Prof. Marsha I. Lester
  • 2016
    Sir J. Fraser Stoddart
  • 2015
    Prof. James M. Tour
  • 2014
    Prof. David J. Nesbitt 
  • 2013
    Prof. Dr. Peter H. Seeberger
  • 2012
    Prof. John F. Hartwig
  • 2011
    Prof. Jacob Israelachvili
  • 2010
    Prof. Daniel G. Nocera
  • 2009
    Prof. Gerard Meijer
  • 2008
    Prof. Christian Amatore
  • 2007
    Prof. Chintamani Nagesa Ramachandra Rao
  • 2006
    Prof. Bob Grubbs