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Chief Scientist Laboratories Molecular Spectroscopy Laboratory

Chief Scientist: Tahei Tahara (D.Sc.)

Research Summary

Tahei  Tahara

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 Fields

  • Chemistry

Related Research Fields

  • Mathematical & 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., Iwamura, M., Tahara, T.:
    "Tracking photoinduced Au–Au bond formation through transient terahertz vibrations observed by femtosecond time-domain Raman spectroscopy"
    J. Am. Chem. Soc., 141, 19296-19303 (2019).
  • 2. 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).
  • 3. 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).
  • 4. 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).
  • 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).

Recent Research Results

Annual research report

Related Links

Lab Members

Principal investigator

Tahei Tahara
Chief Scientist

Core members

Kunihiko Ishii
Senior Research Scientist
Satoshi Nihonyanagi
Senior Research Scientist
Ahmed Mohammed
Research Scientist
Korenobu Matsuzaki
Special Postdoctoral Researcher
Bidyut Sarkar
Postdoctoral Researcher
Pardeep Kumar
Postdoctoral Researcher
Woongmo Sung
Postdoctoral Researcher
Li Liu
Postdoctoral Researcher
Chun-Fu Chang
Postdoctoral Researcher
Feng Wei
Contract Researcher
Tsukasa Takanashi
Visiting Researcher
Wooseok Heo
Visiting Researcher
Shoichi Yamaguchi
Senior Visiting Scientist
Masahisa Osawa
Senior Visiting Scientist
Satoshi Takeuchi
Senior Visiting Scientist
Haruko Hosoi
Visiting Scientist
Tatsuya Fujino
Visiting Scientist
Munetaka Iwamura
Visiting Scientist
Anton Myalitsin
Visiting Scientist
Ryoji Kusaka
Visiting Scientist
Hikaru Kuramochi
Visiting Scientist
Tomoko Kato

Contact Information

S402 Chemistry and Materials Physics Building,
2-1 Hirosawa, Wako, Saitama 351-0198, Japan
Email: tahei [at] riken.jp