Prof. Jean-Marie Lehn

Université Louis Pasteur (Strasbourg), Collège de France (Paris)


Prof. Jean-Marie Lehn, recipient of the first Johannes Gutenberg Lecture Award in May 2005, has strong ties to several research groups at the University of Mainz and the Max Planck Institute of Polymer Research. At the age of 48 he received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1987 for his research in the new field of supramolecular chemistry, a new field beyond established routes. The field has provided the basis to generate complex structures with specific functions by exploiting non-covalent interaction between molecules through self-organisation. It mimics important processes in biology such as molecular recognition and transfers them to synthetic chemistry.

Since then this approach has led to important developments in coordination chemistry, organic synthesis, analytical chemistry, bioorganic- and bioinorganic chemistry - topics covered by research conducted by scientists of MAINZ.

During his honorary lecture Prof. Lehn showed that the principle of self-organisation can be applied to many fields of science today. Examples range from a better understanding on how the universe has developed the current structure to how molecular recognition can be utilised in information technology. Lehn pointed out that not only static structures are of interest but dynamic chemistry as well. This offers new ways to introduce the notion of selection and develop new dynamic materials, e. g. so called dynamers, polymeric materials exhibiting reversible component exchange. The lecture pointed out that the broad scope of graduate training at MAINZ is needed to cope with the challenges of the future.

 Gutenberg Lecture 05

left to right: C. Felser, H.W. Spiess, J.-M. Lehn, J. Michaelis


Gutenberg Lecture 05

left to right: J.-M. Lehn, C. Felser, H.W. Spiess