Centers & Labs

Chief Scientist Laboratories

Molecular Spectroscopy Laboratory

Chief Scientist: Tahei Tahara (D.Sci.)
Tahei  Tahara(D.Sci.)

Spectroscopy is the “eyes” of modern science, and hence it plays essential roles in a variety of research fields covering physics, chemistry and biology. We develop and utilize the most advanced spectroscopy for studying complex molecular systems. To elucidate a variety of phenomena occurring in the complex systems, we need to clarify their electronic and vibrational states, the response of surroundings, and the fluctuation and dissipation of energy behind. Based on this view, we carry out fundamental research using the most advanced linear/nonlinear spectroscopic methods with the most suitable time- and space-resolution for the problems to be studied. Currently, we are carrying out the following projects: (1) Study of ultrafast dynamics using advanced time-resolved spectroscopy; (2) Study of soft interfaces using novel interface-selective nonlinear spectroscopy; (3) Study of structural dynamics of biomolecules and development of new single molecule spectroscopy.

Main Research Field


Related Research Fields

Mathematical and physical sciences / Biology

Physical Chemistry / Thin film & Surface and interfacial physical properties / Biophysics


  • Ultrafast spectroscopy
  • Nonlinear spectroscopy
  • Single molecule spectroscopy
  • Reaction dynamics
  • Interface

Selected Publications

  1. Kuramochi, H. Takeuchi, S. Yonezawa, K, Kamikubo, H. Kataoka, M. and Tahara, T.:
    "Probing the early stages of photoreception in photoactive yellow protein with time-domain Raman spectroscopy"
    Nat. Chem. 9, 660-666 (2017).
  2. Matsuzaki, K., Kusaka, R., Nihonyanagi, S., Yamaguchi, S., Nagata, T., and Tahara, T.:
    "Partially hydrated electrons at the air/water interface observed by UV-excited time-resolved heterodyne-detected vibrational sum frequency generation spectroscopy"
    J. Am. Chem. Soc. 138, 7551-7557 (2016).
  3. Singh, P. C., Inoue, K., Nihonyanagi, S., Yamaguchi, S. and Tahara, T.:
    "Femtosecond hydrogen-bond dynamics of bulk-like and bound water at positively and negatively charged lipid interfaces revealed by 2D HD-VSFG spectroscopy"
    Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 55, 10621 (2016).
  4. Fujisawa, T., Kuramochi, H., Hosoi, H., Takeuchi, S. and Tahara, T.:
    "Role of coherent low frequency motion in excited state proton transfer of green fluorescent protein studied by time-resolved impulsive stimulated Raman spectroscopy"
    J. Am. Chem. Soc. 138, 3942-3945 (2016).
  5. Otosu, T., Ishii, K. and Tahara, T.:
    "Microsecond protein dynamics observed at the single molecule level"
    Nat. Commun. 6, 7685/1-9 (2015).
  6. Nihonyanagi, S., Yamaguchi, S. and Tahara, T.:
    "Counterion effect on interfacial water at charged interfaces and its relevance to the hofmeister series"
    J. Am. Chem. Soc., 136, 6155-6158 (2014).
  7. Ishii, K. and Tahara, T.:
    "Two-dimensional fluorescence lifetime correlation spectroscopy. 1. Principle & 2. Application"
    J. Phys. Chem. B 117, 11414-11422 & 11423-11432 (2013).
  8. Mondal, J. A., Nihonyanagi, S., Yamaguchi, S. and Tahara, T.:
    "Three distinct water structures at a zwitterionic lipid/water interface revealed by heterodyne-detected vibrational sum frequency generation"
    J. Am. Chem. Soc., 134, 7842-7850 (2012).
  9. Nihonyanagi, S., Yamaguchi, S. and Tahara, T.:
    "Direct evidence for orientational flip-flop of water molecules at charged interfaces: a heterodyne-detected vibrational sum frequency generation study"
    J. Chem. Phys., 130, 204704/1-5 (2009).
  10. Takeuchi, S., Ruhman, S., Tsuneda, T., Chiba, M., Taketsugu, T. and Tahara, T.:
    "Spectroscopic tracking of structural evolution in ultrafast stilbene photoisomerization"
    Science 322,1073-1077 (2008).

Lab Members

Principal Investigator

Tahei Tahara
Chief Scientist

Core Members

Satoshi Takeuchi
Senior Research Scientist
Kunihiko Ishii
Senior Research Scientist
Satoshi Nihonyanagi
Senior Research Scientist
Ken-ichi Inoue
Special Postdoctoral Researcher
Kotaro Hiramatsu
Special Postdoctoral Researcher
Shinya Tahara
Postdoctoral Researcher
Miyuki Sakaguchi
Postdoctoral Researcher
Shu-hei Urashima
Postdoctoral Researcher
Anton Myalitsin
Foreign Postdoctoral Researcher
Bidyut Sarkar
Foreign Postdoctoral Researcher
Pardeep Kumar
Visiting Researcher
Kazuto Hasegawa
Student Trainee
Chun-Fu Chang
Student Trainee
Rohit Vaidya
Masahisa Osawa
Senior Visiting Scientist
Shoichi Yamaguchi
Senior Visiting Scientist
Haruko Hosoi
Visiting Scientist
Tatsuya Fujino
Visiting Scientist
Munetaka Iwamura
Visiting Scientist
Takuhiro Otosu
Visiting Scientist
Sari Osato

Contact information

S402 Chemistry and Materials Physics Building,
2-1 Hirosawa, Wako, Saitama 351-0198, Japan

Email: tahei [at]

Related links

Recent research results

June 2, 2017: RIKEN RESEARCH
Lasers pick up good vibrations
August 12, 2016: RIKEN RESEARCH
The hunt for partially hydrated electrons
June 17, 2016: RIKEN RESEARCH
Shining the spotlight on green fluorescent protein

Annual research report