Yves Chauvin

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Yves Chauvin
Nobel Laureates in Chemistry 2005 on stage (restored).jpg
Nobel Laureates in Chemistry 2005 on stage
Born(1930-10-10)10 October 1930
Menen, Belgium
Died27 January 2015(2015-01-27) (aged 84)
Tours, France
Nationality France
Education Lyon School of Chemistry, Physics, and Electronics
Known forDeciphering the process of metathesis
Awards Nobel Prize in Chemistry (2005)
Scientific career
Institutions French Institute of Petroleum

Yves Chauvin (French:  [ʃɔvɛ̃] ; 10 October 1930 – 27 January 2015) was a French chemist and Nobel Prize laureate. He was honorary research director at the Institut français du pétrole and a member of the French Academy of Science. He was known for his work for deciphering the process of metathesis for which he was awarded the 2005 Nobel Prize in Chemistry along with Robert H. Grubbs and Richard R. Schrock. [1] [2] [3] [4] [5]

France Republic with mainland in Europe and numerous oversea territories

France, officially the French Republic, is a country whose territory consists of metropolitan France in Western Europe and several overseas regions and territories. The metropolitan area of France extends from the Mediterranean Sea to the English Channel and the North Sea, and from the Rhine to the Atlantic Ocean. It is bordered by Belgium, Luxembourg and Germany to the northeast, Switzerland and Italy to the east, and Andorra and Spain to the south. The overseas territories include French Guiana in South America and several islands in the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian oceans. The country's 18 integral regions span a combined area of 643,801 square kilometres (248,573 sq mi) and a total population of 67.3 million. France, a sovereign state, is a unitary semi-presidential republic with its capital in Paris, the country's largest city and main cultural and commercial centre. Other major urban areas include Lyon, Marseille, Toulouse, Bordeaux, Lille and Nice.

Chemist scientist trained in the study of chemistry

A chemist is a scientist trained in the study of chemistry. Chemists study the composition of matter and its properties. Chemists carefully describe the properties they study in terms of quantities, with detail on the level of molecules and their component atoms. Chemists carefully measure substance proportions, reaction rates, and other chemical properties. The word 'chemist' is also used to address Pharmacists in Commonwealth English.

Nobel Prize set of annual international awards, primarily 5 established in 1895 by Alfred Nobel

The Nobel Prize is a set of annual international awards bestowed in several categories by Swedish and Norwegian institutions in recognition of academic, cultural, or scientific advances.



Yves Chauvin was born on 10 October 1930 in Menen, Belgium, to French parents; his father worked as an electrical engineer. [6] He graduated in 1954 from the Lyon School of Chemistry, Physics, and Electronics. He began working in the chemical industry but was frustrated there. He is quoted as saying, "If you want to find something new, look for something new...there is a certain amount of risk in this attitude, as even the slightest failure tends to be resounding, but you are so happy when you succeed that it is worth taking the risk." [6] In 1960, Chauvin began working for the French Petroleum Institute in Rueil-Malmaison. He became honorary director of research there following his retirement from the institute in 1995. Chauvin also served as an emeritus (retired) director of research at the Lyon School of Chemistry, Physics, and Electronics. [4]

Menen Municipality in Flemish Community, Belgium

Menen is a municipality located in the Belgian province of West Flanders. The municipality comprises the city of Menen proper and the towns of Lauwe and Rekkem. The city is situated on the French/Belgian border. On January 1, 2006, Menen had a total population of 32,413. The total area is 33.07 km² which gives a population density of 980 inhabitants per km².

Belgium Federal constitutional monarchy in Western Europe

Belgium, officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a country in Western Europe. It is bordered by the Netherlands to the north, Germany to the east, Luxembourg to the southeast, France to the southwest, and the North Sea to the northwest. It covers an area of 30,688 square kilometres (11,849 sq mi) and has a population of more than 11.4 million. The capital and largest city is Brussels; other major cities are Antwerp, Ghent, Charleroi and Liège.

The French Institute of Petroleum is a public research organisation in France founded in 1944 as Institute of Oil, Fuels and Lubricants.

Awards and recognitions

He was awarded the 2005 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, along with Robert H. Grubbs and Richard R. Schrock, for his work from the early 1970s in the area of olefin metathesis. Chauvin was embarrassed to receive his award and initially indicated that he might not accept it. [7] He did however receive his award from the King of Sweden and deliver his Nobel lecture. [8] He was elected a member of the French Academy of Sciences in 2005. [9]

Nobel Prize in Chemistry One of the five Nobel Prizes established in 1895 by Alfred Nobel

The Nobel Prize in Chemistry is awarded annually by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences to scientists in the various fields of chemistry. It is one of the five Nobel Prizes established by the will of Alfred Nobel in 1895, awarded for outstanding contributions in chemistry, physics, literature, peace, and physiology or medicine. This award is administered by the Nobel Foundation, and awarded by Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences on proposal of the Nobel Committee for Chemistry which consists of five members elected by Academy. The award is presented in Stockholm at an annual ceremony on December 10, the anniversary of Nobel's death.

Robert H. Grubbs Nobel prize winning American chemist

Robert Howard Grubbs, ForMemRS, is an American chemist and the Victor and Elizabeth Atkins Professor of Chemistry at the California Institute of Technology in Southern California. He was a co-recipient of the 2005 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his work on olefin metathesis. He is a co-founder of Materia, a University spin-off startup to produce catalysts.

Richard R. Schrock American chemist

Richard Royce Schrock is an American chemist and Nobel laureate recognized for his contributions to the olefin metathesis reaction used in organic chemistry.


Chauvin's work centred on metathesis, which involves organic (carbon-based) compounds. In metathesis, chemists break double bonds more easily by introducing a catalyst—that is, a substance that starts or speeds up a chemical reaction. Chemists began performing metathesis in the 1950s without knowing exactly how the reaction worked. This lack of understanding hindered the search for more efficient catalysts. [10] [11]

Olefin metathesis

Olefin metathesis is an organic reaction that entails the redistribution of fragments of alkenes (olefins) by the scission and regeneration of carbon-carbon double bonds. Because of the relative simplicity of olefin metathesis, it often creates fewer undesired by-products and hazardous wastes than alternative organic reactions. For their elucidation of the reaction mechanism and their discovery of a variety of highly active catalysts, Yves Chauvin, Robert H. Grubbs, and Richard R. Schrock were collectively awarded the 2005 Nobel Prize in Chemistry.

In the early 1970s Chauvin achieved a breakthrough when he described the mechanism by which a metal atom bound to a carbon atom in one group of atoms causes the group to shift places with a group of atoms in another molecule and explained metathesis in detail. He showed that the reaction involves two double bonds. One of the double bonds connects two parts of an organic molecule. The other double bond connects a metal-based catalyst to a fragment of an organic molecule. In metathesis, these two double bonds combine and split to make four single bonds. The single bonds form a ring that connects the metal catalyst, the organic fragment, and the two parts of the organic molecule. The metal catalyst then breaks off from the ring, carrying away part of the organic molecule. This process leaves the fragment attached to the remainder of the organic molecule with a double bond, forming a new organic compound. Scholars have compared this reaction to a dance in which two sets of partners join hands to form a ring and then split apart again to form two new partnerships. [12] [13]

Metal element, compound, or alloy that is a good conductor of both electricity and heat

A metal is a material that, when freshly prepared, polished, or fractured, shows a lustrous appearance, and conducts electricity and heat relatively well. Metals are typically malleable or ductile. A metal may be a chemical element such as iron, or an alloy such as stainless steel.

Double bond chemical bond involving four bonding electrons; has one sigma plus one pi bond

A double bond in chemistry is a chemical bond between two chemical elements involving four bonding electrons instead of the usual two. The most common double bond occurs between two carbon atoms and can be found in alkenes. Many types of double bonds exist between two different elements. For example, in a carbonyl group with a carbon atom and an oxygen atom. Other common double bonds are found in azo compounds (N=N), imines (C=N) and sulfoxides (S=O). In skeletal formula the double bond is drawn as two parallel lines (=) between the two connected atoms; typographically, the equals sign is used for this. Double bonds were first introduced in chemical notation by Russian chemist Alexander Butlerov.

Chauvin's description of metathesis led Robert H. Grubbs and Richard R. Schrock to develop catalysts that carried out the reaction more efficiently. The three chemists' work has enabled manufacturers to make organic compounds, including some plastics and medicines, using less energy because the required reaction pressures and temperatures became lower, and using fewer harmful and expensive chemicals, and creating fewer contaminant reaction by-products and hazardous waste that must be extracted from the desired synthetic. It was for this process they were awarded with 2005 Chemistry Nobel Prize. [14] [15]

Hazardous waste waste that poses substantial or potential threats to public health or the environment

Hazardous waste is waste that has substantial or potential threats to public health or the environment.


Chauvin died, at the age of 84, on 27 January 2015 in Tours, France. [16] [17]


Related Research Articles

Organometallic chemistry study of chemical compounds containing at least one bond between a carbon atom of an organic compound and a metal

Organometallic chemistry is the study of organometallic compounds, chemical compounds containing at least one chemical bond between a carbon atom of an organic molecule and a metal, including alkaline, alkaline earth, and transition metals, and sometimes broadened to include metalloids like boron, silicon, and tin, as well. Aside from bonds to organyl fragments or molecules, bonds to 'inorganic' carbon, like carbon monoxide, cyanide, or carbide, are generally considered to be organometallic as well. Some related compounds such as transition metal hydrides and metal phosphine complexes are often included in discussions of organometallic compounds, though strictly speaking, they are not necessarily organometallic. The related but distinct term "metalorganic compound" refers to metal-containing compounds lacking direct metal-carbon bonds but which contain organic ligands. Metal β-diketonates, alkoxides, dialkylamides, and metal phosphine complexes are representative members of this class. The field of organometallic chemistry combines aspects of traditional inorganic and organic chemistry.

In chemistry isomerization is the process by which one molecule is transformed into another molecule which has exactly the same atoms, but the atoms have a different arrangement e.g. A-B-C → B-A-C. In some molecules and under some conditions, isomerization occurs spontaneously. Many isomers are roughly equal in bond energy, and so exist in roughly equal amounts, provided that they can interconvert somewhat freely; that is, the energy barrier between the two isomers is not too high. When the isomerization occurs intramolecularly it is considered a rearrangement reaction.

Alicyclic compound chemical compound having a carbocyclic, non-aromatic ring structure

An alicyclic compound is an organic compound that is both aliphatic and cyclic. They contain one or more all-carbon rings which may be either saturated or unsaturated, but do not have aromatic character. Alicyclic compounds may have one or more aliphatic side chains attached.

Grubbs catalyst chemical compound

Grubbs catalysts are a series of transition metal carbene complexes used as catalysts for olefin metathesis. They are named after Robert H. Grubbs, the chemist who supervised their synthesis. Several generations of the catalyst have been developed. Grubbs catalysts tolerate many functional groups in the alkene substrates, are air-tolerant, and are compatible with a wide range of solvents. For these reasons, Grubbs catalysts have become popular in synthetic organic chemistry. Grubbs, together with Richard R. Schrock and Yves Chauvin, won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in recognition of their contributions to the development of olefin metathesis.

Organoboron chemistry

Organoborane or organoboron compounds are chemical compounds of boron and carbon that are organic derivatives of BH3, for example trialkyl boranes. Organoboron chemistry or organoborane chemistry is the chemistry of these compounds. Organoboron compounds are important reagents in organic chemistry enabling many chemical transformations, the most important one called hydroboration.

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Ring-closing metathesis, or RCM, is a widely used variation of olefin metathesis in organic chemistry for the synthesis of various unsaturated rings via the intramolecular metathesis of two terminal alkenes, which forms the cycloalkene as the E- or Z- isomers and volatile ethylene.

Ring-opening metathesis polymerization (ROMP) is a type of olefin metathesis chain-growth polymerization. The driving force of the reaction is relief of ring strain in cyclic olefins. A variety of heterogeneous and homogeneous catalysts have been developed. Most large-scale commercial processes rely on the former while some fine chemical syntheses rely on the homogeneous catalysts. Catalysts are based on transition metals such as W, Mo, Re, Ru, and Ti.

Amir H. Hoveyda American chemist

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In organometallic chemistry, a metallacycle is a derivative of a carbocyclic compound wherein a metal has replaced at least one carbon center; this is to some extent similar to heterocycles. Metallacycles appear frequently as reactive intermediates in catalysis, e.g. olefin metathesis and alkyne trimerization. In organic synthesis, directed ortho metalation is widely used for the functionalization of arene rings via C-H activation. One main effect that metallic atom substitution on a cyclic carbon compound is distorting the geometry due to the large size of typical metals.

Richard F. Heck American chemist

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Didier Astruc French chemist

Didier Astruc carried out his studies in chemistry in Rennes. After a Ph. D. with professor R. Dabard in organometallic chemistry, he did post-doctoral studies with professor R. R. Schrock at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Cambridge, Massachusetts, in the U.S. and later a sabbatical year with professor K. P. C. Vollhardt at the University of California at Berkeley. He became a CNRS Director of research in Rennes, then in 1983 full Professor of Chemistry at the University Bordeaux 1. He is known for his work on “Electron-Reservoir” complexes and dendritic molecular batteries, catalytic processes using nanoreactors and molecular recognition using gold nanoparticles and metallodendrimers. He is the author of three books, scientific publications and the editor of five books or special issues. He has been a member of the National CNRS committee from 2000 to 2008 and the President of the Coordination Chemistry Division of the Société Française de Chimie from 2000 to 2004. Didier Astruc is on the Thompson-Reuters list of the top 100 chemists who have achieved the highest citation impact scores for their chemistry papers published between 2000 and 2010. and on the list of the Highest Cited Researchers 2015 and 2016 (Thomson-Reuters). and 2017(Clarivate Analytics)

Herbert S. Eleuterio

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