For explanation of the design, click here.

American Chemical Society

Division of the History of Chemistry

ACS logo

Citations for Chemical Breakthrough Awards

All Awardees Sorted by Award Year

NOTE: The date under YEAR of AWARD (text in RED) indicates a "live" link back to the individual Award Year table.
* Multiple simultaneous independent discoveries.
Additional supporting information on each award can be found at these individual award year tables.

Year of Award Scientists/Inventors Breakthrough Publication Location of Award
2020 William Henry Perkin “Producing a new Coloring Matter for Dyeing with a Lilac or Purple Color Stuffs of Silk, Cotton, Wool, or other Materials,” Great Britain Patent No. 1984, August 26, 1856. Imperial College London
2020 Lord Rayleigh and W. Ramsay “Argon, a New Constituent of the Atmosphere,” Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, London, A 1895, 186A, 187-241. The Royal Institution and University College London
2020 H. G. J. Moseley “The High-Frequency Spectra of the Elements,” The High-Frequency Spectra of the Elements 1913, 26, 1024-1034. The University of Manchester
2020 R. S. Mulliken “The Assignment of Quantum Numbers for Electrons in Molecules. I,” Physical Review 1928, 32, 186-222. New York University
2019 American Chemical Society Chemical Abstracts (Volume 1 was published in 1907). Chemical Abstracts Service, Columbus, Ohio
2019 F. Haber and R. Le Rossignol “Über die technische Darstellung von Ammoniak aus den Elementen [Technical Presentation on Ammonia from its Elements],” Zeitschrift für Elektrochemie, 1913, 19, 53-72. Karlsruhe Institute of Technology
2019 H. Eyring “The Activated Complex in Chemical Reactions,”J. Chem. Phys. 1935, 3, 107-115. Princeton University*
2019 M. G. Evans and M. Polanyi “Some Applications of the Transition State Method to the Calculation of Reaction Velocities, Especially in Solution,” Trans. Faraday Soc. 1935, 31, 875-894. University of Manchester *
2018 S. Arrhenius “Über die Reaktionsgeschwindigkeit bei der Inversion von Rohrzucker durch Säuren,” Zeitschrift für physikalische Chemie 1889, 4, 226-248. Wilhelm-Ostwald-Institute for Physical and Theoretical Chemistry,
Leipzig University
2018 F. W. Aston “A Positive Ray Spectrograph,” The London, Edinburgh, and Dublin Philosophical Magazine and Journal of Science 1919, 38, 707-714. The Cavendish Laboratory, Cambridge University
2018 E. Fischer “Proteïne und Polypeptide,” Zeitschrift für Angewandte Chemie 1907, 20, 913-917. Humboldt Universität zu Berlin
2018 R. Hirschmann, H. Barkemeyer, J. B. Conn, J. E. Deak,
R. G. Denkewalter, R. S. Dewey, M. J. Dickinson, V. Garsky, F. W. Holly, T. A. Jacob,
S. R. Jenkins, H. Joshua, T. Lanza, Jr., J. D. Milkowski, R. F. Nutt, W. J. Paleveda, Jr.,
E. F. Schoenewaldt, J. Sondey, R. G. Strachan, S. L. Varga, D. F. Veber, R. A. Vitali, E. Walton
“Studies on the Total Synthesis of an Enzyme,” Parts I, II, III, IV, and V. Journal of the American Chemical Society 1969, 91, 502, 503; 505, 506, and 507. Merck Sharp and Dohme Research Laboratories, Division of Merck & Co., Inc.
2018 E. Hückel “Quantentheoretische Beitrage zum Benzolproblem. I. Die Electronenenkonfiguration des benzols
and verwandter verbindungen,” Zeitschrift für Physik 1931, 70, 204-286.
University of Stuttgart
2018 T. J. Kealy and P. L. Pauson “A New Type of Organo-Iron Compound,” Nature (London) 1951, 168, 1039-1040. Duquesne University, Pittsburgh, PA
2017 Linus Pauling, Robert B. Corey, and H.R. Branson “The Structure of Proteins: Two Hydrogen-Bonded Helical Configurations of the Polypeptide Chain,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (USA) 1951, 37, 205-2011 California Institute of Technology
2017 A. T. James and A. J. P. Martin “Gas-Liquid Chromatography: A Technique for the Analysis and Identification of Volatile Materials,” Brit. Med. Bulletin 1954, 10 (3), 170-176 National Institute for Medical Research, Mill Hill which became the Francis Crick Institute in 2016
2017 A. Maxam and W. Gilbert “A new method for sequencing DNA,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (USA) 1977, 74, 560-564 Harvard University
2017 R. K. Saiki, K. B. Mullis, H. A. Erlich “Enzymatic Amplification of β-globin Genomic Sequences and Restriction Site Analysis for Diagnosis of Sickle Cell Anemia,” Science 1985, 230, 1350-1354 Cetus Corporation sold to Chiron Corporation in 1991. Chiron was acquired by Novartis International in 2006.
2016 L. Pfaundler “Beitrag zur Chemischen Statik,” (Poggendorff) Annalen der Physik und Chemie, 1867, 131, 55-85. Universität Innsbruck, Austria
2016 E. C. Anderson, W. F. Libby, S. Weinhouse, A. F. Reid, A. D. Kirshenbaum, and A. Grosse “Radiocarbon from Cosmic Radiation,” Science 1947, 105, 576-577. The University of Chicago
2016 H. Gutowsky, D. W. McCall, and C. P. Slichter “Coupling among Nuclear Magnetic Dipoles in Molecules,” Physical Review, 1951, 84, 589-590. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
2016 F. Sanger, S. Nicklen, and A. R. Coulson “DNA Sequencing with Chain-Terminating Inhibitors,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, 1977, 74, 5463-5467. Medical Research Council, Cambridge, England
2015 Louis Bernard Guyton de Morveau, Antoine Laurent Lavoisier, Claude-Louis Berthollet, and Antoine-François de Fourcroy “Méthode de Nomenclature Chimique,” chez Cuchet (sous le Privilège de l'Académie des Nomenclature Chimique), Paris, France, 1787. Académie des Sciences (Paris)
2015 E. Frankland “On a New Series of Organic Bodies containing Metals,” Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society 1852, 142, 417-444. The University of Manchester
2015 P. Curie, M. Curie, and G. Bémont “Sur une nouvelle substance fortement radioactive, contenue dans la pechblende,” Comptes rendus de l'Académie des Sciences, Paris, 1898 (26 December), vol. 127, pp. 1215-1217. ESPCI ParisTech (officially the école supérieure de physique et de chimie industrielles de la ville de Paris; The City of Paris Industrial Physics and Chemistry Higher Educational Institution)
2015 D. Crowfoot, C. W. Bunn, B. W. Rogers-Low, A. Turner Jones “The X-ray Crystallographic Investigation of the Structure of Penicillin,” in H.T. Clarke, J.R. Johnson, R. Robinson (editors), Chemistry of Penicillin, Princeton University Press, Chapter XI, pp. 310-366, 1949. Oxford University
2015 H. W. Kroto, J. R. Heath, S. C. O'Brien, R. F. Curl, and R. E. Smalley “C60: Buckminsterfullerene,” Nature 1985, 318, 162-163. Rice University
2014 N. Bartlett “Xenon Hexafluoroplatinate(V) Xe+[PtF6]-,”
Proceedings of the Chemical Society, 1962, 6, 218.
The University of British Columbia
2014 E. Fischer “Ueber die Configuration des Traubenzuckers und seiner Isomeren,”
Chemische Berichte, 1891, 24, 1836-1845.
University of Würzburg
2014 L. Michaelis and M. L. Menten “Die Kinetik der Invertinwirkung,”
Biochemische Zeitschrift, 1913, 49, 333-369.
Vivantes Klinikum Am Urban, Berlin
Ph.D. thesis, University of Leiden, 1873.
University of Leiden
2013 O. T. Avery, C. M. MacLeod, and M. McCarty “Studies on the Chemical Nature of the Substance Inducing Transformation of Pneumococcal Types,”
Proceedings of the Journal of Experimental Medicine, 1944, 79, 137-159.
The Rockefeller University
2013 M. Meselson and F. W. Stahl “The Replication of DNA in Escherichia Coli,”
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 1958, 44, 671-682.
California Institute of Technology
2013 F. Soddy “Intra-atomic Charge,”
Nature, 1913 (4 December), 92, 399-400.
University of Glasgow
2013 N. Sinin “Beschreibung einiger neuer organischer Basen, dargestellt durch die Einwirkung des
Schwefelwasserstoffe auf Versindungen der Kohlenwasserstoffe mit Untersalpetersäure,”
Bulletin Scientifique publié par l'Académie Impériale des Sciences de Saint-Pétersbourg, 1842, 10, 273-285.
Kazan Federal University
2012 E. Rutherford “LXXIX. The Scattering of α and β Particles by Matter and the Structure of the Atom,”
Philosophical Magazine, 1911, 21 [Series 6], 669 - 688.
University of Manchester
Archives neerlandaises des sciences exactes et naturelles, 1874, 9, 445 - 454.
University of Utrecht
2012 D. Mendelejeff “Ueber die Beziehungen der Eigenschaften zu den Atomgewichten der elemente,”
Zeitschrift für Chemie, 1869, 12, 405 - 406.
Saint Petersburg State University
2012 L. Pasteur “Mémoire sur la relation qui peut exister entre la forme cristalline de la composition
chimique, et sur la cause de la polarisation rotatoire,”
Comptes rendus hebdomadaires des séances de l'Académie des Sciences, 1848, 26, 535 - 538.
École normale supérieure, Paris
2011 O. Diels and K. Alder “Synthesen in der hydroaromatischen Reihe,”
Justus Liebigs Annalen der Chemie, 1928, 460, 98 - 122.
Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel
2011 G. N. Lewis and M. Randall “Thermodynamics and The Free Energy of Chemical Substances,”
University of California, Berkeley
2011 R. Robinson “LXIII. - A Synthesis of Tropinone,”
Journal of the Chemical Society, 1917, 762 - 768.
University of Liverpool
2011 S. Cannizzaro “Lettera del Prof. Stanislao Cannizzaro,”
Nuovo Cimento, 1858, 7, 321-366.
Università degli Studi di Genova
Journal de Physique, 1811, 73, 58 - 76.
Liceo Scientifico “A. Avogadro” Vercelli
2010 J. C. Sheehan and K. R. Henery-Logan “The Total Synthesis of Penicillin V,”
J. Am. Chem. Soc. 1957, 79, 1262 - 1263.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
2010 J. B. Sumner “The Isolation and Crystallization of the Enzyme Urease,”
J. Biol. Chem. 1926, 69, 435 - 441.
Cornell University
2010 M. Tswett “Adsorptionsanalyse und chromatographische Methode.
Anwendung auf die Chemie des Chlorophylls,”
Ber. Deutsch. Bot. Gesell. 1906, 24, 384 - 393.
Warsaw University
2010 V. Grignard “Sur quelques nouvelles combinaisons organomètalliques
du magnèsium et leur application à des synthèses d' alcools
et a'hydrocarbures,”
Comptes Rendus 1900, 130, 1322 - 1324.
University of Lyon
2010 P. Walden “Ueber die gegenseitige Umwandlung optischer Antipoden,”
Ber. Deutsch. Chem. Gesell. 1896, 29, 133 - 138.
Riga Technical University, Latvia
2009 R. G. Pearson “Hard and Soft Acids and Bases,”
J. Am. Chem. Soc. 1963, 85, 3533-3539.
Northwestern University
2009 M. Sela, F. H. White, Jr., and
C. B. Anfinsen
“Reductive Cleavage of Disulfide Bridges in Ribonuclease,”
Science 1957, 125, 691-692.
National Institutes of Health
2009 S. L. Miller “A Production of Amino Acids Under Possible Primitive Earth Conditions,”
Science 1953, 117, 528-529.
The University of Chicago
2009 E. M. Purcell, H. C. Torrey,
and R. V. Pound
“Resonance Absorption by Nuclear Magnetic Moments in a Solid,”
Phys. Rev. 1946, 69, 37-38.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University
2009 H. Staudinger “Ketene, eine neue Körperklasse,”
Chem. Ber. 1905, 38, 1735-1739.
Université de Strasbourg
2008 G. Binnig and H. Rohrer “Scanning Tunneling Microscope,”
U.S. Patent 4,343,993 (10 August 1982),
assignors to International Business Machines Corporation.
IBM Zurich Research Laboratory, Rüschlikon, Switzerland
2008 T. Katsuki and K. B. Sharpless “The First Practical Method for Asymmetric Epoxidation,”
J. Am. Chem. Soc. 1980, 102, 5974-5976.
Stanford University
2008 J. A. Osborn, F. H. Jardine, J. F. Young
and G. Wilkinson
“The preparation and properties of
tris(triphenylphosphine)halogeno-rhodium(I) and some
reactions thereof including catalytic homogeneous
hydrogenation of olefins and acetylenes and their derivatives”
J. Chem. Soc. (A) 1966, 1711-1732.
Imperial College London
2008 H. C. Brown and B. C. S. Rao “A New Technique for the Conversion of Olefins
into Organoboranes and Related Alcohols,”
J. Am. Chem. Soc. 1956, 78, 5694-5695.
Purdue University
2008 R. Adams (Senior Editor) First volume of Organic Reactions, John Wiley, 1942 University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
2008 C. M. Hall “Process of Reducing Aluminium by Electrolysis”
US Patent 400,766 (April 2, 1889)
Oberlin College and Oberlin Heritage Center
2007 P. C. Lauterbur “Image Formation by Induced Local Interactions:
Examples Employing Nuclear Magnetic Resonance,”
Nature 1973, 242, 190-191.
SUNY at Stony Brook
2007 J. D. Roberts, H. E. Simmons, Jr., L. A. Carlsmith,
and C. W. Vaughn
“Rearrangement in the Reaction of Chlorobenzene-1-C14
with Potassium Amide,”
J. Am. Chem. Soc. 1953, 75, 3290-3291.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
2007 J. D. Watson and F. H. Crick “Molecular Structure Of Nucleic Acids,
A Structure for Deoxyribose Nucleic Acid,”
Nature, 1953, 171, 737-738.
Medical Research Council, Cambridge
2007 D. H. R. Barton “The Conformation of the Steroid Nucelus,”
Experientia, 1950, 6, 316-320.
Harvard University
2007 H. C. Urey, F. G. Brickwedde, and G. M. Murphy “A Hydrogen Isotope of Mass 2,”
Phys. Rev. 1932, 39, 164-165.
Columbia University and National Bureau of Standards
2007 A. Werner Neuere Anschauungen auf dem Gebiete der Anorganischen Chemie
Vieweg, Braunschweig, 1905.
University of Zurich
2006 M. J. Molina and F. S. Rowland “Stratospheric Sink for Chlorofluoromethanes:
Chlorine Atom-Catalysed Destruction of Ozone”
Nature 1974, 249, 810-812.
University of California, Irvine
2006 R. B. Woodward and R. Hoffmann “Stereochemistry of Electrocyclic Reactions”
J. Am. Chem. Soc. 1965, 87, 395-397.
Harvard University
2006 B. Merrifield “Solid Phase Peptide Synthesis. I. The Synthesis of a Tetrapeptide”
J. Am. Chem. Soc. 1963, 85, 2149-2154.
Rockefeller University
2006 H. F. Fisher, E. C. Conn, B. Vennesland,
and F. H. Westheimer
“The Enzymatic Transfer of Hydrogen.
I. The Reaction Catalyzed by Alcohol Dehydrogenase”
J. Biol. Chem. 1953, 202, 687-697.
The University of Chicago
2006 R. J. Plunkett “Tetrafluoroethylene Polymers” U.S. Patent 2,230,654 (4 February 1941),
assignor to Kinetic Chemicals, Inc. of Wilmington, DE.
2006 L. Pauling The Nature of the Chemical Bond
Cornell University Press, 1939.
2006 A. O. Beckman and H. E. Fracker “Apparatus for Testing Acidity” U.S. Patent 2,058,761 (27 October 1936),
assignors to National Technical Laboratories, Pasadena, CA.
Beckman Coulter
2006 E. O. Lawrence “Method and Apparatus for the Acceleration of Ions”
U.S. Patent 1,948,384 (20 February 1934),
assignor to Research Corporation, New York, NY.
University of California, Berkeley
2006 G. N. Lewis “The Atom and the Molecule” J. Am. Chem. Soc. 1916, 38, 762-785. University of California, Berkeley
2006 M. Gomberg “An Instance of Trivalent Carbon: Triphenylmethyl” J. Am. Chem. Soc. 1900, 22, 757-771. University of Michigan

* Multiple simultaneous independent discoveries.