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American Chemical Society

Division of the History of Chemistry

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Citations for Chemical Breakthrough Awards

All Awardees Sorted by Award Year

The chemistry subdiscipline for each award is shown at the far right of each entry.
The totals to date are:
Analytical 10
Biochemistry 16
Environmental 1
General 1
Industrial 4
Inorganic 7
Organic 22
Physical 27

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 Chemistry Subdiscipline
2022 Auguste Kekulé “Sur la constitution des substances aromatiques,” Bulletin de la Société de Paris
1865, 3, 98 - 110.
Ghent University Organic, Physical
2022 Joseph-Achille Le Bel “Sur les relations qui existent entre les formules atomiques des corps organiques et le pouvoir rotatoire de leurs dissolutions,” Bulletin de la Société Chimique 1874, 22, 337 - 347. Médecine de l'Université Paris-Cité Organic
2022 Wendell M. Latimer and Worth H. Rodebush “Polarity and Ionization from the Standpoint of the Lewis Theory of Valence,” J. Am. Chem. Soc. 1920, 42, 1419 - 1433. University of California, Berkeley Physical
2022 Robert L. Letsinger and V. Mahadevan “Stepwise Synthesis of Oligodeoxyribonucleotides on an Insoluble Polymer Support,” J. Am. Chem. Soc. 1966, 88, 5319 - 5324. Northwestern University Biochemistry
2022 Hideki Shirakawa, Edwin J. Louis, Alan G. MacDiarmid, Chwan K. Chiang, and Alan J. Heeger “Synthesis of Electrically Conducting Organic Polymers: Halogen Derivatives of Polyacetylene (CH)x,” J. Chem. Soc., Chemical Communications 1977, 578 - 580. University of Pennsylvania Physical, Organic
2021 J. Willard Gibbs “On the Equilibrium of Heterogeneous Substances,”
Transactions of the Connecticut Academy of Arts and Sciences
1876, 3, 108 - 248; 1878, 3, 343 - 524.
Yale University Physical
2021 Kenichi Fukui, Teijiro Yonezawa,
and Haruo Shingu
“A Molecular Orbital Theory of Reactivity in Aromatic Hydrocarbons,”
The Journal of Chemical Physics 1952, 20, 722 - 725.
Kyoto University Physical, Organic
2021 R. Noyori, T. Ohkuma, M. Kitamura,
H. Takaya, N. Sayo, H. Kumobayashi, and S. Akutagawa
“Asymmetric Hydrogenation of β-Keto Carboxylic Esters.
A Practical, Purely Chemical Access to β-Hydroxy Esters
in High Enantiomeric Purity,”
J. Am. Chem. Soc. 1987, 109(10), 5856 - 5858.
Nagoya University
Institute for Molecular Science, Myodaiji, Okazaki, Japan
Takasago International Corporation
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 Industrial
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 Inorganic
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 Physical
2020 R. S. Mulliken “The Assignment of Quantum Numbers for Electrons in Molecules. I,” Physical Review 1928, 32, 186-222. New York University Physical
2019 American Chemical Society Chemical Abstracts (Volume 1 was published in 1907). Chemical Abstracts Service, Columbus, Ohio General
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 Industrial
2019 H. Eyring “The Activated Complex in Chemical Reactions,”J. Chem. Phys. 1935, 3, 107-115. Princeton University* Physical
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 * Physical
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 Analytical
2018 E. Fischer “Proteïne und Polypeptide,” Zeitschrift für Angewandte Chemie 1907, 20, 913-917. Humboldt Universität zu Berlin Biochemistry
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. Biochemistry
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 Physical
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 Inorganic
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 Biochemistry
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 Analytical
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 Biochemistry
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. Biochemistry
2016 L. Pfaundler “Beitrag zur Chemischen Statik,” (Poggendorff) Annalen der Physik und Chemie, 1867, 131, 55-85. Universität Innsbruck, Austria Physical
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 Analytical
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 Analytical
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 Biochemistry
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) Inorganic
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 Physical
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) Physical
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 Analytical
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 Inorganic
2014 N. Bartlett “Xenon Hexafluoroplatinate(V) Xe+[PtF6]-,”
Proceedings of the Chemical Society, 1962, 6, 218.
The University of British Columbia Inorganic
2014 E. Fischer “Ueber die Configuration des Traubenzuckers und seiner Isomeren,”
Chemische Berichte, 1891, 24, 1836-1845.
University of Würzburg Organic
2014 L. Michaelis and M. L. Menten “Die Kinetik der Invertinwirkung,”
Biochemische Zeitschrift, 1913, 49, 333-369.
Vivantes Klinikum Am Urban, Berlin Biochemistry
Ph.D. thesis, University of Leiden, 1873.
University of Leiden Physical
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 Biochemistry
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 Biochemistry
2013 F. Soddy “Intra-atomic Charge,”
Nature, 1913 (4 December), 92, 399-400.
University of Glasgow Physical
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 Organic
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 Physical
Archives neerlandaises des sciences exactes et naturelles, 1874, 9, 445 - 454.
University of Utrecht Organic
2012 D. Mendelejeff “Ueber die Beziehungen der Eigenschaften zu den Atomgewichten der elemente,”
Zeitschrift für Chemie, 1869, 12, 405 - 406.
Saint Petersburg State University Inorganic
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 Organic
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 Organic
2011 G. N. Lewis and M. Randall “Thermodynamics and The Free Energy of Chemical Substances,”
University of California, Berkeley Physical
2011 R. Robinson “LXIII. - A Synthesis of Tropinone,”
Journal of the Chemical Society, 1917, 762 - 768.
University of Liverpool Organic
2011 S. Cannizzaro “Lettera del Prof. Stanislao Cannizzaro,”
Nuovo Cimento, 1858, 7, 321-366.
Università degli Studi di Genova Physical
Journal de Physique, 1811, 73, 58 - 76.
Liceo Scientifico “A. Avogadro” Vercelli Physical
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 Organic
2010 J. B. Sumner “The Isolation and Crystallization of the Enzyme Urease,”
J. Biol. Chem. 1926, 69, 435 - 441.
Cornell University Biochemistry
2010 M. Tswett “Adsorptionsanalyse und chromatographische Methode.
Anwendung auf die Chemie des Chlorophylls,”
Ber. Deutsch. Bot. Gesell. 1906, 24, 384 - 393.
University of Warsaw Analytical
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 Organic
2010 P. Walden “Ueber die gegenseitige Umwandlung optischer Antipoden,”
Ber. Deutsch. Chem. Gesell. 1896, 29, 133 - 138.
Riga Technical University, Latvia Organic
2009 R. G. Pearson “Hard and Soft Acids and Bases,”
J. Am. Chem. Soc. 1963, 85, 3533-3539.
Northwestern University Physical
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 Biochemistry
2009 S. L. Miller “A Production of Amino Acids Under Possible Primitive Earth Conditions,”
Science 1953, 117, 528-529.
The University of Chicago Biochemistry
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 Analytical
2009 H. Staudinger “Ketene, eine neue Körperklasse,”
Chem. Ber. 1905, 38, 1735-1739.
Université de Strasbourg Physical
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 Analytical
2008 T. Katsuki and K. B. Sharpless “The First Practical Method for Asymmetric Epoxidation,”
J. Am. Chem. Soc. 1980, 102, 5974-5976.
Stanford University Organic
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 Organic
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 Organic
2008 R. Adams (Senior Editor) First volume of Organic Reactions, John Wiley, 1942 University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Organic
2008 C. M. Hall “Process of Reducing Aluminium by Electrolysis”
US Patent 400,766 (April 2, 1889)
Oberlin College and Oberlin Heritage Center Industrial
2007 P. C. Lauterbur “Image Formation by Induced Local Interactions:
Examples Employing Nuclear Magnetic Resonance,”
Nature 1973, 242, 190-191.
SUNY at Stony Brook Analytical
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 Organic
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 Biochemistry
2007 D. H. R. Barton “The Conformation of the Steroid Nucelus,”
Experientia, 1950, 6, 316-320.
Harvard University Organic
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 Physical
2007 A. Werner Neuere Anschauungen auf dem Gebiete der Anorganischen Chemie
Vieweg, Braunschweig, 1905.
University of Zurich Inorganic
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 Physical, Environmental
2006 R. B. Woodward and R. Hoffmann “Stereochemistry of Electrocyclic Reactions”
J. Am. Chem. Soc. 1965, 87, 395-397.
Harvard University Organic
2006 B. Merrifield “Solid Phase Peptide Synthesis. I. The Synthesis of a Tetrapeptide”
J. Am. Chem. Soc. 1963, 85, 2149-2154.
Rockefeller University Biochemistry
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 Biochemistry
2006 R. J. Plunkett “Tetrafluoroethylene Polymers” U.S. Patent 2,230,654 (4 February 1941),
assignor to Kinetic Chemicals, Inc. of Wilmington, DE.
DuPont Industrial
2006 L. Pauling The Nature of the Chemical Bond
Cornell University Press, 1939.
Caltech Physical
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 Analytical
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 Physical
2006 G. N. Lewis “The Atom and the Molecule” J. Am. Chem. Soc. 1916, 38, 762-785. University of California, Berkeley Physical
2006 M. Gomberg “An Instance of Trivalent Carbon: Triphenylmethyl” J. Am. Chem. Soc. 1900, 22, 757-771. University of Michigan Organic

* Multiple simultaneous independent discoveries.