Some articles about major breakthroughs in chemistry include "Five Chemistry Breakthroughs That Shaped Our Modern World," by Mark Lorch, available online at DiscoverMagazine.com; "Ten Greatest Discoveries in Chemistry," available online at FamousChemists.com; and "Five Biggest Chemistry Breakthroughs of the Last 25 Years," by Max Wilbert, available online at BrainScape.com. Science Daily is another source for articles on news and breakthroughs in chemistry and other fields of science.
"Five Chemistry Breakthroughs That Shaped Our Modern World" explains how the invention of the Haber-Bosch process was the single most important reason that the Earth's population increased from 1.6 billion people in 1900 to more than 7 billion people today. Other discoveries in its list of five breakthroughs include the inventions of penicillin, the birth control pill, polythene and flat-screen color displays.
"Ten Greatest Discoveries in Chemistry" also lists the invention of penicillin as one of the most important breakthroughs in chemistry research. Other breakthroughs on its list include the discovery of oxygen, electrons, and radioactivity; the invention of the periodic table of the elements, Teflon and LSD; and the development of pasteurization, the smallpox vaccine and atomic energy.
Breakthroughs included in "Five Biggest Chemistry Breakthroughs of the Last 25 Years" include the synthesis of single-walled carbon nanotubes, the synthesis of Taxol, Gerhard Ertl's description of surface chemistry, the invention of nano-scale microscopy and the insights gained from research designed to study the origins of life by teams at Los Alamos Laboratory and the University of Bristol.