Mitsuo Kira

Professor Emeritus, Tohoku University
Department of Chemistry, Graduate School of Science

Professor Emeritus, Tohoku University
Guest Professor, Key Laboratory of Organosilicon Chemistry and Material Technology, Hangzhou Normal University, China


He works in organometallic chemistry, especially in silicon and heavier group-14 element chemistry. The subjects of most interest in recent years have been synthesis and properties of:
  • Silicon unsaturated compounds
  • An isolable dialkylsilylene, 2,2,5,5-tetrakis(trimethylsilyl)-silacyclopentan-1,1-diyl.
  • New stable Si=Si compounds involving small cyclic disilenes, spiropentasiladiene, various tetrasilyldisilenes, trisilaallene and related heavy allenes, and anthryl- and related aryldisilenes.
  • New stable Si=X compounds involving silatriafulvene, silaketeneimines, and silanechalcogenones.
  • Transition metal complexes with disilene and silylene ligands.
  • Long-bond 1,3-disilabicyclo[1.1.0]butane.
  • Silicon-based molecular machines.
  • Oligosilanes and polysilanes.
  • σ(Si-Si) -π Conjugation systems.
At the present time, he is most involved in studies of:
  • Importance of π-σ* orbital mixing determining the unusual structural feature of unsaturated bonds of silicon and other heavy main-group elements.
  • Mechanisms of silylenes; insertion into Si-X bonds (X = H, Cl), addition to C=C and C=X (X = O, NR) bonds and butadiene.
  • Seach for new reactions of stable dialkylsilylenes.

Selected Publications

  • Chen, W.; Wang, L.; Li, Z.; Lin, A.; Lai, G.; Xiao, X.; Deng, Y.; Kira, M., "Diverse reactivity of an isolable dialkylsilylene toward imines." Dalton Trans. 2013, 42, 1872 - 1878.
  • Kira, M., "Bonding and structure of disilenes and related unsaturated group-14 element compounds" Proceedings of the Japan Academy, Series B 2012, 88, 167-191.
  • Kira, M., "An isolable dialkylsilylene and its derivatives. A step toward comprehension of heavy unsaturated bonds" Chem. Commun. (Feature Article) 2010, 46, 2893-2903.
  • Kira, M.; Iwamoto, T.; Ishida, S., "A helmeted dialkylsilylene" Bull. Chem. Soc. Jpn 2007, 80, 258-275.
  • Kira, M.; Iwamoto, T., "Progress in the chemistry of stable disilenes" Adv. Organomet. Chem. 2006, 54, 73-148.
  • Kira, M.; Iwamoto, T.; Ishida, S.; Masuda, H.; Abe, T.; Kabuto, C., "Unusual bonding in trisilaallene and related heavy allenes" J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2009, 131, 17135-17144.
  • Watanabe, C.; Iwamoto, T.; Kabuto, C.; Kira, M., "Fourteen-electron bis(dialkylsilylene)palladium and Twelve-Electron Bis(dialkylsilyl)palladium" Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2008, 47, 5386-5389.
  • Uchiyama, K.; Nagendran, S.; Ishida, S.; Iwamoto, T.; Kira, M., "Thermal and photochemical cleavage of Si= Si double bond in tetrasila-1, 3-diene" J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2007, 129, 10638-10639.
  • Kira, M.; Sekiguchi, Y.; Iwamoto, T.; Kabuto, C., "14-Electron disilene-palladium complex having strong π-complex character" J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2004, 126, 12778-12779.
  • Ishida, S.; Iwamoto, T.; Kabuto, C.; Kira, M., "A stable silicon-based allene analogue with a formally sp-hybridized silicon atom" Nature 2003, 421, 725-727.
  • Iwamoto, T.; Tamura, M.; Kabuto, C.; Kira, M., "A stable bicyclic compound with two Si=Si double bonds" Science 2000, 290, 504-506.
  • Kira, M.; Ishida, S.; Iwamoto, T.; Kabuto, C., "The first isolable dialkylsilylene" J. Am. Chem. Soc. 1999, 121, 9722-9723.

  • Full List of Publications


1963-1967    B.Eng. Synthetic Chemistry, Faculty of Engineering, Kyoto University, Japan
1967-1970    M.Eng. Synthetic Chemistry, Graduate School of Engineering, Kyoto University, Japan

1967    B.Eng., Kyoto University
1969    M.Eng., Kyoto University
1974    D.Sc., Tohoku University

Academic Appointments
1970 - 1986    Instructor, Tohoku University, Faculty of Science
1986 - 1995    Associate Professor, Tohoku University, Faculty of Science
1995 - 2007    Professor, Tohoku University, Graduate School of Science
1977 - 1978    Alexander von Humboldt Research Fellow, Universitat Frankfurt
1990 - 1998    Team Leader, Photodynamics Research Centre, The Institute of Physical and Chemical Research (RIKEN)
2007 - 2011    Guest Professor, The Open University of Japan, Chiba
2007 - 2013    Guest Professor, Graduate School of Science, Tohoku University
2007 - Present    Guest Professor, Key Laboratory of Organosilicon Chemistry and Material Technology, Hangzhou Normal University
2013.9-10     Chair Professor, Department of Chemistry, National Taiwan University, Taiwan

1978    The Chemical Society of Japan Young Chemists Award
2005    The Chemical Society of Japan Award
2005    Wacker Silicone Award, Germany
2007    Medal with Purple Ribbon
2008    Fellow, Chemical Society of Japan
2009    The Society of Silicon Chemistry, Japan Award
2011    F. S. Kipping Award, The American Chemical Society, U.S.A.
2012    West Lake Friendship Award for Foreign Experts, Zhejiang Province, China