Structures and mechanisms in chemical reactions: George A. Olah’s life-long search of chemistry

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4 Citations (Scopus)


The Hungarian-born American chemistry Nobel laureate George A. Olah used superacids to give longer life to carbocations. He resolved a long-standing debate on reaction mechanism in organic chemistry and, more importantly, opened new vistas in hydrocarbon chemistry to produce hosts of new compounds. The concerted utilization of organic synthesis, physical techniques, and computational methods led to spectacular achievements in hydrocarbon chemistry. Olah has always been on the lookout for the practical applications of his discoveries in fundamental chemistry. He continued his research after his Nobel award and has worked out the idea, which he labeled “the methanol economy.” Olah’s example shows that a great researcher can also be a devoted and caring human being.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)259-277
Number of pages19
JournalStructural Chemistry
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1 2017



  • Carbocations
  • George A. Olah
  • Hydrocarbon chemistry
  • Methanol economy
  • Reaction mechanism
  • Superacids

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry

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