Centers & Labs

RIKEN Center for Sustainable Resource Science

Biofunctional Catalyst Research Team

Team Leader: Ryuhei Nakamura (D.Sci.)
Ryuhei  Nakamura(D.Sci.)

We work on the development of biologically inspired catalysts and their application to energy conversion and production systems. Specifically, we attempt to exploit the nature’s ingenuities of multielectron catalytic reaction, electron/proton transport, metabolic regulation, flexible response to external stimuli, and the robust energy management in a deep sea environment to develop the novel materials and systems necessary for the effective management of renewable energy sources.

Main Research Field


Related Research Fields

Environmental science / Biology

Research Subjects

  • Development of water splitting catalysts inspired by PSII center in natural photosynthesis
  • Electricity production using the microbial ability of extracellular electron transfer
  • Investigation of giant electroecosystems in a deep hydrothermal environment

Selected Publications

Papers with an asterisk(*) are based on research conducted outside of RIKEN.
  1. T. Ishii, S. Kawaichi, H. Nakagawa, K. Hashimoto, R. Nakamura:
    "From chemolithoautotrophs to electrolithoautotrophs: CO2 fixation by Fe(II)-oxidizing bacteria coupled with direct uptake of electrons from solid electron sources"
    Front. Microbiol. 6:994 (2016)
  2. R. Ang, A. U. Khan, N. Tsujii, K. Takai, R. Nakamura, T. Mori:
    "Thermoelectricity generation and electron-magnon scattering in a natural chalcopyrite mineral from a deep-sea hydrothermal vent"
    Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 54, 12909-12913 (2015)
  3. A. Yamaguchi, R. Inuzuka, T. Takashima, T. Hayashi, K. Hashimoto, R. Nakamura:
    "Regulating proton-coupled electron transfer for efficient water splitting by manganese oxides at neutral pH"
    Nat. Commun. 5:4256 (2014).
  4. A. Okamoto, K. Saito, K. Inoue, K. H. Nealson, K. Hashimoto, R. Nakamura:
    "Self-secreted flavins as bound cofactors for extracellular electron transfer in Geobacter species"
    Energy Environ. Sci. 7, 1357-1361 (2014)
  5. M. Yamamoto, R. Nakamura, K. Oguri, S. Kawagucci, K. Suzuki, K. Hashimoto, K. Takai:
    "Generation of electricity and illumination by an environmental fuel cell in deep-sea hydrothermal vents"
    Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 52, 10758-10761 (2013)
  6. * A. Okamoto, K. Hashimoto, K. H. Nealson, R. Nakamura:
    "Rate enhancement of bacterial extracellular electron transport involves bound flavin semiquinones"
    Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 110, 7856-7861 (2013)
  7. Y. Zhao, R. Nakamura, K. Kamiya, S. Nakanishi, K. Hashimoto:
    "Nitrogen-doped carbon nanomaterials as non-metal electrocatalysts for water oxidation"
    Nat. Commun. 4:2390 (2013)
  8. * T. Takashima, K. Hashimoto, R. Nakamura:
    "Inhibition of charge disproportionation of MnO2 electrocatalysts for efficient water oxidation under neutral conditions"
    J. Am. Chem. Soc. 134, 18153-18156 (2012)
  9. * T. Takashima, K. Hashimoto, R. Nakamura:
    "Mechanisms of pH-dependent activity for water oxidation to molecular oxygen by MnO2 electrocatalysts"
    J. Am. Chem. Soc., 134, 1519-1527 (2012)
  10. * R. Nakamura, T. Takashima, S. Kato, K. Takai, M. Yamamoto, K. Hashimoto:
    "Electrical current generation across a black smoker chimney"
    Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 49, 7692-7694 (2010)

Lab Members

Principal Investigator

Ryuhei Nakamura
Team Leader

Core Members

Li Yamei
Postdoctoral Researcher
Nobuaki Shono
Postdoctoral Researcher
Victor Rafael Sojo Martinez
Visiting Researcher
Daoping He
International Program Associate
Nadege Bonnet
Technical Staff II

Contact information

S103, Sustainable Resource Science Building,
2-1 Hirosawa, Wako, Saitama 351-0198, Japan

Related links

Recent research results

April 14, 2017: RIKEN RESEARCH
Smaller is better for water-splitting catalyst
March 10, 2017: RIKEN RESEARCH
Probing the stability of photosynthesis

Further information