Masahiko Hara

Social Implementation

Masahiko Hara


Self-AssemblyNanotechnologyChemical EvolutionFluctonomous Emergence


Masahiko Hara was born in Tokyo, Japan. He received his bachelor’s degree in 1980, master’s degree in 1983, and his Doctor of Engineering degree in 1988 from Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech), Japan, in the Department of Organic and Polymeric Materials. He was a visiting research fellow of the Department of Physics, University of Manchester, UK, from 1981 to 1982.
In April 1985, he became Research Scientist at RIKEN, Polymer Chemistry Lab. He worked for the establishment of Frontier Research System and Advanced Materials Lab in RIKEN since 1986 and has served as Deputy Head of Exotic Nano-Materials Lab (1991-1999), Head of Local Spatio-Temporal Functions Lab (1999-2007), and Emergent Functions (subsequently renamed Flucto-Order Functions) Lab (2007-2013), Director of RIKEN-HYU Collaboration Research Center in Seoul, Korea (2009-2013), Director of the Corporate and International Relation Division (2011-2013), and Senior Visiting Scientist, Global Research Cluster (2013-2016), all at RIKEN.
He has also served as Lecturer at Chiba University (1991-1997), Visiting Professor at Tokyo Tech (1997-2003), and Adjunct Professor in the Chemistry Department of Hanyang University, Korea (2001-2020).
During the RIKEN Frontier period, he accepted more than 200 postdoctoral researchers in his lab (half of them were from abroad) and he also has worked on many international exchange programs and national research projects.
He is currently Professor in the School of Materials and Chemical Technology and is an affiliated faculty in the Chemical Evolution Lab Unit at the Earth-Life Science Institute (ELSI); the Project Leader of TKT CAMPUS Asia at Tokyo Tech; Senior Visiting Scientist at RIKEN; and Visiting Professor at United Nations University.
His research interests are in the areas of Nanotechnology and Nanoscience, Scanning Probe Microscopy, Self-Assembled Monolayers, Bio-Interfaces, Spatio-Temporal Functions, Emergent Functions, Flucto-Order Functions, Bio-Computing, Biological Information Processing, Chemical Evolution, Origins of Life, and Natural Intelligence. He has published around 400 papers and introduced many new research concepts (such as Spatio-Temporal, Emergent, and Flucto-Order Functions, and Natural Intelligence) and new scientific terminologies in Japanese.
citation: 10,897、h-index: 57、i10-index: 218 (Google Scholar as of 2021.2.15.)

Expectations for WRHI

My research at WRHI focuses on self-assembly processes and ambiguities in nature, which are studied by the state-of-the-art high-resolution microscopies and spectroscopies. This involves the fabrication and characterization of novel molecular and materials structures and functions based on nanotechnology. The study of chemical evolution and spatio-temporal dynamics can lead to important findings on the origins of natural intelligence, and the origins of life more broadly. The emergence of a novel social value based on these studies is developed in collaboration with speculative design approaches.
This collaboration scheme will open up novel approaches in advanced materials and nanotechnology to deliver novel functionality and device architecture, and also a paradigm shift and game change in science and engineering research methodologies to awaken researchers from conventional viewpoints and discussion points.
Collaboration with the speculative design scheme will provide novel topologically and dimensionally controlled meta-molecular/materials’ structures and functions to implement novel devices, objects, and media in society.


Visiting Professor, Institute for the Advanced Study of Sustainability, United Nations University


Professor, School of Materials and Chemical Technology, Tokyo Tech


Visiting Scientist, Surface & Interface Science Lab, RIKEN, and Affiliated Faculty, Earth-Life Science Institute (ELSI), Tokyo Tech


Senior Visiting Scientist, Global Research Cluster, RIKEN


Project Leader, TKT CAMPUS Asia Consortium, Tokyo Tech


Director, RIKEN-HYU Collaboration Research Center (Seoul, Korea), Team Leader, Flucto-Order Functions Team, and Director, Corporate and International Relation Division, RIKEN


Professor, Dept of Electronic Chemistry, Tokyo Tech


Adjunct Professor, Dept of Chemistry, Hanyang University, Korea


Lab Head, Local Spatio-Temporal Functions Lab, Emergent Functions Asian Collaboration Lab, RIKEN


Visiting Professor, Dept of Electronic Chemistry, Tokyo Tech


Visiting Associate Professor, Dept of Electronic Chemistry, Tokyo Tech


Deputy Head, Laboratory for Exotic Nano-Materials, Frontier Research System, RIKEN


Research Scientist, Laboratory for Nonlinear Optics and Advanced Materials, Frontier Research Program, RIKEN


Senior Research Scientist, Polymer Chemistry Laboratory, RIKEN


Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, Evaluation Committee Award


International Conference Seeing at the Nanoscale, First Runner-up Award


Materials Research Society Fall Meeting, Best Poster


Surface Science Society Japan, Technology Award


R. Afrin, T. Yano, T.Z. Jia, H.J. Cleaves, and M. Hara, “Unbinding events of amino acids and peptides from water–pyrite interfaces: A case study of life’s origin on mineral surfaces” Biophys. Chem. 260, 106338 (2020).


G. Barcaro, L. Sementa, V. Carravetta, T. Yano, M. Hara, and S. Monti, “Experimental and theoretical elucidation of catalytic pathways in TiO2-initiated prebiotic polymerization” Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 21, 13880-13901 (2019).


A. Portela, T. Yano, C. Santschi, O.J.F. Martin, H. Tabata, and M. Hara, “Highly sensitive SERS analysis of the cyclic Arg-Gly-Asp peptide ligands of cells using nanogap antennas” J. Biophoton. 10, 294-302 (2017).


Y. Tsuchimoto, T. Yano, M. Hada, K. G. Nakamura, T. Hayashi, and M. Hara, “Controlling the Visible Electromagnetic Resonances of Si/SiO2 Dielectric Core-Shell Nanoparticles by Thermal Oxidation” Small, 11, 4844-4849 (2015).


S.J. Kim, M. Naruse, M. Aono, M. Ohtsu and M. Hara, “Decision Maker based on Nanoscale Photo-excitation Transfer” Scientific Reports 3, 2370 (2013).


M. Aono, Y. Hirata, M. Hara and K. Aihara, “Greedy versus social: resource-competing oscillator network as a model of amoeba-based neurocomputer” Natural Computing 10 (4), 1219-1244 (2011).


H.W. Kim, M. Han, H.-J. Shin, S. Lim, Y. Oh, K. Tamada, M. Hara, Y. Kim, M. Kawai and Y. Kuk, “Control of Molecular Rotors by Selection of Anchoring Sites” Phys. Rev. Lett. 106, 146101 (2011).


Y. Ikezoe, S.J. Kim, I. Yamashita, M. Hara, “Random number generation by a two-dimensional crystal of protein molecules” Langmuir 25 (8), 4293-4297 (2009).


M. Aono and M. Hara, “Spontaneous deadlock breaking on amoeba-based neurocomputer” BioSystems 91 (1), 83-93 (2008).


T. Nakagaki, H. Yamada and M. Hara, “Smart network solutions in an amoeboid organism” Biophysical Chemistry 107 (1), 1-5 (2004).


J. Noh and M. Hara “Final phase of alkanethiol self-assembled monolayers on Au(111)” Langmuir 18, 1953-1956 (2002).


K. Tamada, M. Hara, H. Sasabe and W. Knoll “Surface Phase Behavior of n-Alkanethiol Self-Assembled Monolayers Adsorbed on Au(111): An Atomic Force Microscopy Study” Langmuir 13, 1558-1566 (1997)


M. Hara, Y. Iwakabe, K. Tochigi, H. Sasabe, A.F. Garito and A. Yamada “Anchoring structure of smectic liquid-crystal layers on MoS2 observed by scanning tunnelling microscopy” Nature 344 (6263), 228-230 (1990).


M. Hara, H. Sasabe, A. Yamada and A.F. Garito “Epitaxial Growth of Organic Thin Films by Organic Molecular Beam Epitaxy” Jpn. J. Appl. Phys. 28, L306-308 (1989).