The 2018 Wolf Foundation Prize for Chemistry will be awarded to Makoto Fujita of the University of Tokyo, and visiting professor of the UvA via the research priority area sustainable chemistry, for his achievements in the field of supramolecular chemistry.
The Wolf prize is one of the most prestigious prizes in science, and many laureates are recipients of the Noble prize. Prof Fujita has received the prize together with Prof Yaghi for their contribution to supramolecular chemistry using coordination chemistry. In particular, prof Fujita received his prize for "metal-directed assembly principles leading to large highly porous complexes" and Professor Omar Yaghi of the University of California, Berkeley, for his research "pioneering reticular chemistry via metal-organic frameworks and covalent organic framework."
As early as 1990, Fujita published an article describing this method of synthesizing materials on a nanometric scale containing both metal ions and various organic molecules (i.e., molecules containing carbon and hydrogen atoms connected to each other). Further work after this landmark paper resulted in the development of a whole new research field in which molecular cages and containers can be prepared by simple self assembly strategies. Applications of metal-directed assembly include catalysis, which is also a main topic of research within the suschem program, and more recently in the area of X-ray crystallography. His work was previously acknowledged by many prizes, including the Arthur C. Cope Scholar Award from the American Society of Chemistry, the Izatt-Christensen International Award for Macrocyclic Chemistry, the International Society for Nanoscale Science, Computation, and Engineering (ISNSCE) Award, The Fred Basolo Medal for Outstanding Research in Inorganic Chemistry from North Western University and the Nagoya silver medal.