Jean-Marie Lehn

Jean-Marie Lehn

Jean-Marie Lehn
Jean-Marie Lehn after a lecture at ETH Zurich, 2012
Born (1939-09-30) 30 September 1939
Rosheim, France
Nationality France
Fields Supramolecular chemistry
Known for Cryptands
Notable awards

Jean-Marie Lehn (born September 30, 1939) is a French chemist. He received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry together with Donald Cram and Charles Pedersen in 1987 for his synthesis of cryptands. Lehn was an early innovator in the field of supramolecular chemistry, i.e., the chemistry of host-guest molecular assemblies created by intermolecular interactions, and continues to innovate in this field. His group has published in excess of 900 peer-reviewed articles in chemistry literature.

A circular helical assembly reported by Jean-Marie Lehn et al. in Angew. Chem., Int. Ed. Engl. 1996, 35, 1838–1840.
Crystal structure of a foldamer reported by Lehn et al. in Helv. Chim. Acta., 2003, 86, 1598–1624.

Contents

  • Biography 1
    • Early years 1.1
    • Career 1.2
  • Personal life 2
  • Honors and awards 3
  • References 4

Biography

Early years

Lehn was born in Obernai, from 1950 to 1957, included Latin, Greek, German, and English languages, French literature, and he later became very keen of both philosophy and science, particularly chemistry. In July 1957, he obtained the baccalauréat in philosophy, and in September of the same year, the baccalauréat in Natural Sciences.

At the University of Robert Burns Woodward's laboratory at Harvard University, working among other things on the synthesis of vitamin B12.

Career

In 1966, he was appointed a position as maître de conférences (assistant professor) at the Chemistry Department of the University of Strasbourg. His research focused on the physical properties of molecules, synthesizing compounds specifically designed for exhibiting a given property, in order to better understand how that property was related to structure.

In 1968, he achieved the synthesis of cage-like molecules, comprising a cavity inside which another molecule could be lodged. Organic chemistry enabled him to engineer cages with the desired shape, thus only allowing a certain type of molecule to lodge itself in the cage. This was the premise for an entire new field in chemistry, sensors. Such mechanisms also play a great role in molecular biology.

These cryptands, as Lehn dubbed them, became his main center of interest, and led to his definition of a new type of chemistry, "supramolecular chemistry", which instead of studying the bonds inside one molecule, looks at intermolecular attractions, and what would be later called "fragile objects", such as micelles, polymers, or clays.

In 1980, he was elected to become a teacher at the prestigious Collège de France, and in 1987 was awarded the Nobel Prize, alongside Donald Cram and Charles Pedersen for his works on cryptands.

He is currently a member of the Reliance Innovation Council which was formed by Reliance Industries Limited, India.[2]

Personal life

Lehn was married in 1965 to Sylvie Lederer, and together they had two sons, David and Mathias.

Lehn is an atheist.[3]

Honors and awards

Lehn has won numerous awards and honors including

Jean-Marie Lehn, UNESCO 2011

References

  1. ^ a b
  2. ^ http://www.ril.com/OurCompany/Innovation.aspx
  3. ^
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