TAMAOKI NobuyukiProfessor

Laboratory of Smart Molecule
Research Theme
Synthesis of molecular machines powered by light energy
Research Keywords

Photochromic compound, Molecular machine, Motor protein, Microtubule, Kinesin, Azobenzene, Liquid crystal, Self-organization, Inter-molecular interaction, Organic synthesis, Chirality

Overview of Research

Although living things consist of molecules as non-living things do, we smartly sense and judge surroundings and do the action by ourselves. It is still important topic in the present science to envisage what is special and what is not special in the molecular level for the outwardly special living things in comparison with non-living things. We think that constructing new artificial molecular systems with various information functions which are realized in the living systems will contribute to the deep understanding of the living things. This is the opposite way of the usual biology where we observe living things itself directly.

In the living things, information is stored in the molecular structures or conformation of the molecular organizations. And the information is transferred among molecules via molecular interaction. On the other hand, light is a very important media for both information and energy not only in the living things and also in the daily life. Paying special attention to the above points, we design new photo-reactive molecular systems showing well-regulated molecular structural changes and study the following changes in the inter-molecular interaction, in order to actualize new photo-sensor molecular systems and light-driven molecular machines as preliminary examples of the artificial smart molecular systems.

Research Interest
Synthesis of light-driven molecular machine
Study of photo-responsive liquid crystal
Induction of molecular chirality by physical chirality



It is the supreme pleasure to synthesize “our own molecules” and study the biological and other properties of them.

Representative Publications

Noushaba Nusrat Mafy, Kazuya Matsuo, Shota Hiruma, Ryota Uehara and Nobuyuki Tamaoki, “Photoswitchable CENP-E inhibitor enabling the dynamic control of chromosome movement and mitotic progression”, J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2020, 142(4), 1763-1767

Noushaba Nusrat Mafy, Yuna Kim, Reji Thomas, Takehito Akasaka, and Nobuyuki Tamaoki, “Molecular Crankshaft Effect Converting Piston-like Molecular Motion to Continuous Rotation of Macro Objects”, ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces, 2019, 11 (16), 15097-15102

Yuna Kim, Ken’ichi Aoki, Masaya Fujioka, Junji Nishii, and Nobuyuki Tamaoki, “Pressure-Induced Transition of Bisamide Substituted Diacetylene Crystals from Non-Photopolymerizable to Photopolymerizable State”, ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces, 2018, 10(42), 36407-36414

K. R. Sunil Kumar , Takashi Kamei , Tuyoshi Fukaminato , and Nobuyuki Tamaoki, “Complete ON/OFF Photoswitching of the Motility of a Nanobiomolecular Machine”, ACS Nano, 2014, 8(5), 4157-4165

Nishad Perur, Masao Yahara, Takashi Kamei, Nobuyuki Tamaoki, “A non-nucleoside triphosphate powering kinesin-microtubule motility with photo-tunable velocity”, Chem. Commun, 2013, 49, 9935-9937



<Office Hour>
– Time: Anytime during the lecture period
– Place: Creative Research Institute Building, #04-302
Please contact in advance by E-mail.
E-mail: tamaoki[at]