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Otto Diels

Born 23 January 1876(1876-01-23)
Hamburg, Germany
Died 7 March 1954 (aged 78)
Kiel, Germany
Nationality Germany
Fields Chemistry
Institutions University of Kiel
Alma mater University of Berlin
Doctoral advisor Emil Fischer
Doctoral students Kurt Alder
Karl Wilhelm Rosenmund
Known for Diels-Alder reaction
Notable awards Nobel Prize in Chemistry (1950)

Otto Paul Hermann Diels (23 January 1876 – 7 March 1954) was a German chemist. He was the son of a professor of philology at the University of Berlin, where he himself earned his doctorate in chemistry, in the group of Emil Fischer.

Diels taught till 1916 at the University of Berlin and from 1916 till 1945 at the University of Kiel. Two of his sons were killed in World War II.

In 1950 he and his student, Kurt Alder, were awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry "for their discovery and development of the cycloaddition synthesis". This organic synthesis is known also as the Diels-Alder reaction. It regioselectively produces up to four chiral centers and is one of the most useful reactions of its type.

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