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RIKEN SPring-8 Center Forensic Science Group

Group Director: Yasuo Seto (Ph.D.)

Research Summary

Yasuo  Seto(Ph.D.)

Forensic science uses technology to establish facts in criminal investigations based on witness testimony. The scientific investigation consists of both a review of conditions on-site at crime scenes and an examination of relevant evidence in a laboratory.

Synchrotron radiation (SR) offers advanced analysis technology that can shed light on problems that cannot be resolved using conventional forensic science techniques. We verify the results of the SR analysis used in forensic science, discuss the capabilities of SR with external organizations in the forensic science field, and build frameworks for joint research focused on driving improvements in analytical capabilities and investigation results.

Furthermore, we are building the most advanced SR analysis system and developing leading-edge forensic science technology. The new capabilities will timely respond to the tough requests from criminal investigations and prosecutions.

Main Research Fields

  • Interdisciplinary Science & Engineering

Related Research Fields

  • Complex Systems
  • Chemistry
  • Engineering
  • Biology
  • Medicine, Dentistry & Pharmacy
  • Quantum beam science
  • Social/Safety system science
  • Applied chemistry


  • Synchrotron radiation
  • Forensic Science
  • Scientific investigation
  • X-ray/electron spectroscopy
  • Safety engineering

Selected Publications

Papers with an asterisk(*) are based on research conducted outside of RIKEN.

  • 1. Watanabe, S., Kikuchi, T., Iwai, T., Matsushita, R., Takatsu, M., Honda, S., Nakanishi, T., Y. Seto
    "Single crystal X-ray analysis using he crystalline sponge method for direct structure determination of new and earlier synthetic cannabinoids including OXIXIDs, AKB48, and JWH-424 from a trace sample"
    Forensic Chemistry, 33, 100480 (2023)
  • 2. Iwai, T., Honda, S., Watanabe, S., Matsushita, R., Nakanishi, T., Takatsu, M., Moriwaki, T,, Yabashi,, M., Ishikawa, T., Seto, Y.
    "Forensic discrimination of drug powder based on drug mixing condition determined using micro Fourier" transform infrared spectroscopy
    ACS Omega, 8, 4285-4293 (2023)
  • 3. Matsushita, R., Nakanishi, T., Watanabe, S., Iwai, T., Takatsu, M., Honda, S., Funaki, K., Ishikawa, T., Seto, Y.
    "Effect of machine washing on the chromatography parameters of polyester fiber gel permeation"
    ACS Omega, 7, 38789-38795 (2022)
  • 4. Ishimi, A., Nakanishi, T., Seto, Y., Nishiwaki, Y.
    "Nondestructive discrimination of black ceramic prints on automotive glasses by portable X-ray fluorescence spectrometer"
    Journal of Forensic Sciences, 67, 1825-1835 (2022)
  • 5. Matsushita, R., Watanabe, S., Iwai, T., Nakanishi, T., Takatsu, M., Honda, S., Funaki, K., Ishikawa, T., Seto, Y.
    "Forensic discrimination of polyester fibers using gel permeation chromatography"
    Forensic Chemistry, 30, 100428 (2022)
  • 6. Watanabe, S., Iwai, T., Matsushita, R., Nakanishi, T., Kuzhiuumparambil, U., Fu,, S., Seto, Y.
    "Comparison between human liver microsomes and the fungus Cunninghamella elegans for biotransformation of the synthetic cannabinoid JWH-424 having a bromo-naphthyl moiety analyzed by high-resolution mass spectrometry"
    Forensic Toxicology, 40, 278-288 (2022)
  • 7. Seto, Y.
    "Forensic science: Application of synchrotron radiation technology to scientific investigation"
    BUNSEKI, 2021, 547-551 (2021)
  • 8. *Seto, Y.
    "On-site detection of chemical warfare agents"
    'Handbook of the Toxicology of Chemical Warfare Agents', 3rd ed., ed. by Gupta, R. C., Elsevier, Amsterdam, Chapter 60, 983-1003 (2020)
  • 9. *Seto, Y., Hashimoto, R., Taniguchi, T., Ohrui, Y., Nagoya, T., Iwamatsu, T., Komaru, S., Usui, D., Morimoto, S., Sakamoto, Y., Ishizaki, A., Nishide, T., Inoue, Y., Sugiyama, H., Nakano, N.
    "Development of ion mobility spectrometry with novel atmospheric electric emission ionization for field detection of gaseous and blister chemical warfare agents"
    Analytical Chemistry, 91, 5403-5414 (2019)
  • 10. *Seto, Y., Sekiguchi, H., Maruko, H., Yamashiro, S., Sano, Y., Takayama, Y., Sekioka, R., Yamaguchi, S., Kishi, S., Sato, T., Sekiguchi, H., Iura, K., Nagashima, H., Nagoya, T., Tsuge, K., Ohsawa, I., Okumura, A., Takada, A., Nagano, H., Ezawa, N., Watanabe, S., Hashimoto, H.
    "Sensitive and comprehensive detection of chemical warfare agents in air by atmospheric pressure chemical ionization ion trap tandem mass spectrometry with counter-flow introduction"
    Analytical Chemistry, 86, 4316-4326, 2014

Lab Members

Principal investigator

Yasuo Seto
Group Director

Core members

Shimpei Watanabe
Research Scientist


Position Deadline
Seeking a few Research Scientist or Postdoctoral Researcher position (C21-0205) Open until filled

Contact Information

SPring-8 Center, Physical science research building
1-1-1 Kouto, Sayo-cho
Sayo-gun, Hyogo
679-5148 Japan
Tel: +81-(0)791-58-0802(ex. 7906)
Fax: +81-(0)791-58-2898
Email: seto.y [at] spring8.or.jp