Sander Wezenberg (left) receives the cake from editor Daniël Linzel

The readers of C2W | Mens & Molecule have chosen the photoswitch calix[4]pyrrole as their favourite molecule of 2023!


Sander Wezenberg, associate professor at Leiden University, was surprised when the editors of C2W | Mens & Molecule dropped by his office in Leiden. The reason: the molecule calix[4]pyrrole, synthesised in Wezenberg’s group, has been voted ‘Molecule of the Year’ by our readers. The whole group is gathered around, and a little later we present them with a specially made cake depicting the now famous molecule.

On the desk are a number of papers with other molecules on them. Wezenberg points to them: We are now working on something even more beautiful, but we still have to publish it,’ he says enthusiastically. We also hear that PhD student Sofiia Emashova has actually made the winning molecule work. Wezenberg: ’We can now pick up caesium somewhere and drop it somewhere else. Sometimes the molecule decides for itself when to drop the metal, so we still have to study that.

Wezenbergs groep

Wezenbergs group

The winner of the 2023 Favourite Molecule won a wide margin, so the bar is set high for the next edition. The editors are already looking forward to another year of great molecules.

Winners Elemental Haiku

We would also like to highlight the five winners of the Elemental Haiku booklet:

  • Max Berkers
  • Ralf Bovee
  • Manon Ludden
  • Gerald Metselaar
  • Iena Pals

Congratulations! We will contact you by email.