Profile:Susumu Kitagawa

Susumu Kitagawa

Susumu Kitagawa

Executive Vice President and Distinguished Professor

Research Fields

Inorganic and Material Chemistry, Chemistry of Coordination Space

Research Overview

Kitagawa's main research field is inorganic and material chemistry, in particular, chemistry of coordination space, and his current research interests are centered on synthesis and properties of porous coordination polymers/metal-organic frameworks.


He was the first to discover and to demonstrate "porosity" for metal complexes with gas sorption experiments (1997), whose materials are called porous coordination polymers (PCPs) or metal-organic frameworks (MOFs). To date, MOFs are classified as a new category of porous materials, as opposed to the conventional classifications of inorganic and carbon materials. Kitagawa pioneered the functional chemistry of MOFs, and discovered flexible MOFs, dissimilar to those of conventional porous materials. Today several hundred different MOFs are known, and over 7,000 articles on this class of materials have been published annually worldwide. The research developments built on his discoveries are anticipated to lead to radical innovations in materials science, with wide-ranging implications for both academia and industry. Chemical industry firms are producing MOF materials for use in purification, storage, and transportation of gases, among other applications. Kitagawa's achievement has blazed a trail to a new era for porous materials, vital to addressing energy and environmental issues and contributing to human welfare.


1974 B.Sc., Kyoto University
1976 M.Sc., Kyoto University
1979 Ph.D., Kyoto University
1979-1983 Assistant, Department of Chemistry, Kindai University
1983-1988 Lecturer, Department of Chemistry, Kindai University
1988-1992 Associate Professor of Department of Chemistry, Kindai University
1992-1998 Professor of Department of Chemistry, Tokyo Metropolitan University
1998-2017 Professor of Department of Synthetic Chemistry and Biological Chemistry, Kyoto University
2007-2012 Deputy Director and Professor of Institute for Integrated Cell-Material Sciences, Kyoto University
2013-2017 Director and Professor of Institute for Integrated Cell-Material Sciences, Kyoto University
2016-2018 Deputy Director-General of KUIAS
2017-2023 Director of Institute for Integrated Cell-Material Sciences, KUIAS
2020-2024 Deputy Director-General of KUIAS
2017- Distinguished Professor of KUIAS
2024- Executive Vice President for Research Promotion, Kyoto University

Selected Papers

  1. R. Matsuda, R. Kitaura, S. Kitagawa, Y. Kubota, R. V. Belosludov, T. C. Kobayashi, H. Sakamoto, T. Chiba, M. Takata, Y. Kawazoe, Y. Mita, Highly controlled acetylene accommodation in a metal–organic microporous material. Nature 436, 238–241 (2005).
  2. S.Horike, S.Shimomura, S.Kitagawa “Soft Porous Crystals” Nat. Chem., 1, 695 -704 (2009).
  3. Y. Sakata, S. Furukawa, M. Kondo, K. Hirai, N. Horike, Y. Takashima, H. Uehara, N. Louvain, M. Meilikhov, T. Tsuruoka, S. Isoda, W. Kosaka, O. Sakata, S. Kitagawa, Shape-memory nanopores induced in coordination frameworks by crystal downsizing. Science 339, 193–196 (2013).
  4. H. Sato, W. Kosaka, R. Matsuda, A. Hori, Y. Hijikata, R. V. Belosludov, S. Sakaki, M. Takata, S. Kitagawa, Self–Accelerating CO Sorption in a Soft Nanoporous Crystal. Science 343, 167–170 (2014).
  5. N. Hosono, A. Terashima, S. Kusaka, R. Matsuda, S. Kitagawa, Highly responsive nature of porous coordination polymer surfaces imaged by in situ atomic force microscopy. Nature Chemistry 11, 109–116 (2018).
  6. C. Gu, N. Hosono, J. Zheng, Y. Sato, S. Kusaka, S. Sakaki, S. Kitagawa, Design and control of gas diffusion process in a nanoporous soft crystal. Science 363, 387–391 (2019).
  7. Y. Su, K Otake, J.J. Zheng, S. Horike, S. Kitagawa, C. Gu Separating water isotopologues using diffusion-regulatory porous materials Nature 611 , 289-294 (2022).


The Chemical Society of Japan Award (2009), Thomson Reuters Citation Laureate (Chemistry) (2010), Medal with Purple Ribbon (2011), Kyoto University Shi-Shi Award (2013), The fellow of the UK Royal Society of Chemistry (2013), Leo Esaki Prize (2013), Japan Academy Prize (2016), Fred Basolo Medal (2016), Fujihara Award (2017), Chemistry for the Future Solvay Prize (2017), Honorary Member of the Chemical Society of Japan (2017), Grand Prix de la Fondation de la Maison de la Chimie (2018), Emanuel Merck Lectureship Award (2019), Member of the Japan Academy (2019), Honorary Member of Japan Society of Coordination Chemistry (2021), Foreign Member of the Royal Society (2023)