Ultrafast Spectroscopy Research Team

Team Leader

Tahei Tahara


Photo: Tahei Tahara


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Ultrafast Spectroscopy Research Team,
RIKEN Center for Advanced Photonics

2-1 Hirosawa, Wako, Saitama 351-0198 Japan


Most of the phenomena in nature are realized by the dynamic behavior of molecules. Among them, chemical reactions are critically important, which dynamically cause the cleavage and formation of chemical bonds and alter the nuclei arrangement within the molecules. Even non-reactive molecules are vibrating, which provides rich information about the molecular properties. Because the timescale of such molecular motion is femtosecond (quadrillionth), femtosecond spectroscopy is essential for elucidating chemical phenomena. Our team investigates the dynamics of molecules from fundamental to complex systems, as well as the molecules in special environments such as interfaces. We extend the frontier of molecular science through the development and use of advanced spectroscopic methods.


Chemistry, Physics, Biology / Biochemistry


Ultrafast spectroscopy, Nonlinear spectroscopy, Single molecule spectroscopy, Dynamics, Interface


  1. Generation of ultrashort pules and development of ultrafast spectroscopic methods
  2. Elucidation and control of molecular dynamics in the condensed phase by ultrafast spectroscopy
  3. Observation and elucidation of molecular dynamics at interfaces by nonlinear spectroscopy
Research image

Coherent nuclear motion of the chromophor of a protein in reaction

Selected Publications

  1. Kumar, P. Kuramochi, H. Takeuchi, S. Tahara, T.: "Photoexcited plasmon-driven ultrafast dynamics of the adsorbate probed by femtosecond time-resolved surface-enhanced time-domain Raman spectroscopy", J. Phys. Chem. Lett., 14, 2845 (2023).
  2. Chang, C., Kuramochi, M., Singh, M., Abe-Yoshizumi, R., Tsukuda, T., Kandori, H., and Tahara, T.: “A unified view on varied ultrafast dynamics of the primary process in microbial rhodopsins” , Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 61, e202111930 (2022).
  3. Kusaka, R., Nihonyanagi, S., and Tahara, T.: “The photochemical reaction of phenol becomes ultrafast at the air–water interface”, Nat. Chem. 13, 306 (2021).
  4. Inoue, K., Ahmed, M., Nihonyanagi, S., and Tahara, T.: “Reorientation-induced relaxation of free OH at the air/water interface revealed by ultrafast heterodyne-detected nonlinear spectroscopy” , Nat. Commun. 11, 5344 (2020).
  5. Ahmed, M., Inoue, K., Nihonyanagi, S., and Tahara, T.: “Hidden isolated OH at the charged hydrophobic interface revealed by two-dimensional heterodyne-detected VSFG spectroscopy” , Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 59, 9498 (2020).


Tahei TaharaTeam Leader
Kunihiko IshiiSenior Research Scientist
Satoshi NihonyanagiSenior Research Scientist
Korenobu MatsuzakiResearch Scientist