Emergent Bioengineering Materials Research Team

Principal Investigator

PI Name Yoshihiro Ito
Degree D.Eng.
Title Team Leader
Brief Resume
1987D.Eng., Kyoto University
1988Assistant Professor, Kyoto University
1996Associate Professor, Kyoto University
1997Associate Professor, Nara Institute of Science and Technology
1999Professor, University of Tokushima
2002Project Leader, Kanagawa Academy of Science and Technology
2004Chief Scientist, Nano Medical Engineering Laboratory, RIKEN (-present)
2013Team Leader, Emergent Bioengineering Materials Research Team, RIKEN Center for Emergent Matter Science (-present)


Advanced materials composed of biological and artificial components are synthesized for development of environmentally friendly energy collection and conversion systems. By combination of organic synthetic chemistry, polymer chemistry, and biotechnology, novel synthesis method will be established and materials using biological and artificial elements will be achieved by their chemical fabrication, and the characterization of the interfaces between biological and artificial elements for highly efficient energy collection and conversion or biological functions. Especially our team will establish a new methodology, a chemically extended molecular evolutionary engineering as an “Emergent Chemistry” to create a specific ally functionalized polymer by screening of random sequence of polymer library containing functional monomers.

Research Fields

Bioengineering, Organic Chemistry, Materials Sciences


Energy conversion
Precise Polymer Synthesis
Molecular evolutionary engineering


Aqueous-dispersed carbon nanotubes using nanoparticle-formed fullerenes

Single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs) are cylindrical nanocarbons with exceptional electrical and mechanical properties. SWCNTs precipitate immediately in water owing to hydrophobic properties. We
 demonstrated direct exfoliation of SWCNTs in pure water only with n-type fullerene nanoparticles. Adding raw SWCNTs to an aqueous dispersion of fullerene (PC61BM) nanoparticles and subjecting to ultrasonication formed aqueous-dispersed SWCNTs. Following the addition of polythiophene (WSPT), self-assembled p/n heterojunctions of WSPT/PC61BM nanoparticles was observed on SWCNTs. Upon air mass 1.5 simulated solar irradiation, the water-processed thin film of the WSPT/PC61BM/SWCNTs ternary composite showed a photocurrent response. We found that processing of nanocarbons can be achieved by water. These results are expected to be clean processing of energy-conversion devices using harmless water.

(A) A transmission electron microscopic image of polythiophene (WSPT)/fullerene (PC61BM) nanoparticle/SWCNTs ternary composite. (B) Mechanism of photogenerated carrier-transport in the ternary composite.


Yoshihiro Ito

Team Leader y-ito[at]riken.jp R

Masuki Kawamoto

Senior Research Scientist

Takanori Uzawa

Senior Research Scientist

Motoki Ueda

Research Scientist

Seiichi Tada

Research Scientist

Yoshihito Osada

Senior Visiting Scientist

Hiroshi Abe

Senior Visiting Scientist

Takuji Hirose

Senior Visiting Scientist

Kyoji Hagiwara

Visiting Scientist

Nandakumar Avanashiappan

Special Postdoctoral Researcher

Iljae Min

International Program Associate

Md.Mofizur Rahman

Junior Research Associate

Chinmay Ravindra Phadke

Junior Research Associate

Yun Heo

Student Trainee

Kon Son

Student Trainee

Stefan Mueller

Junior Research Associate

Hsiu-Pen Lin

Student Trainee

So Jung Park

Student Trainee

Noriko Minagawa

Technical Staff I

Izumi Kono

Technical Staff I



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