University of Manchester — David A. Leigh receives August Wilhelm von Hofmann Memorial Medal

Award for the Architect of the Nanoworld”

The German Chemical Society (GDCh) has awarded Professor Dr. David A. Leigh, University of Manchester, UK, the August Wilhelm von Hofmann Memorial Medal for his special services to chemistry. The GDCh honors his pioneering achievements in the field of nanosciences as well as his tireless commitment as an ambassador for chemistry. The award ceremony will take place on July 11 at the 9th EuChemS Chemistry Congress in Dublin, Ireland.

David A. Leigh is a world leader in the study of artificial molecular machines and molecular topology and is considered a gifted architect” of the nanoworld. His work has had a major impact on supramolecular chemistry over the past 20 years. Leigh has introduced numerous innovative and influential concepts for the synthesis of interlocking molecular architectures. In addition, he pioneered the control of molecular motions and synthesized some of the most complex artificial molecular structures known to date.

Key achievements of Leigh’s research group include the development of molecular Catenan motors and the construction of artificial machines that can transport droplets along inclined surfaces. They also developed the Maxwell’s Demon” information ratchet — a molecular machine that uses thermal energy to move molecules in a specific direction — and introduced artificial molecules that can walk.” In recent years, Leigh has researched the weaving of highly complex molecular knots and 2D materials, and advanced the synthesis of amazingly simple chemically driven rotors.

In addition to his outstanding research work, he has been tirelessly committed as an ambassador for chemistry. In hundreds of public lectures and media contributions, he inspires and inspires a wide audience for the subject. In his lectures, Leigh combines magic tricks with scientific content and impresses both expert and non-expert audiences. In his enthusiasm for his subject, Leigh does not shy away from unusual communication channels: In 2018, for example, his research group commissioned a popular music video about nanorobotics, which has received around 1.2 million views to date. Leigh is actively involved in supporting and promoting girls and financially disadvantaged students.

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