PTYS/LPL Faculty

Hiroshi Imanaka
Hiroshi Imanaka
Assistant Research Scientist
Astrobiology, Planetary atmospheres
Ph.D., 2004, University of Tokyo

Kuiper   #523D

Years with LPL:  2010 to present


Dr. Imanaka's major research interest is the inventory and evolution of the volatile CHNOS elements in planetary atmospheres, planetary surfaces, and, the early solar system towards the understanding of the origin and evolution of life and habitable environments.

He is working on comprehensive laboratory studies of complex organic chemistry related to the atmospheres of Titan and the early Earth. He studies characteristic fingerprints (elemental/isotopic composition, structure, and spectroscopic characteristics) in plausible organic macromolecules in planetary environments.

A comprehensive understanding of such fingerprints is a key for constraining the physical-chemical environments, elemental cycles, and energy balance from available, or potentially available, sets of astronomical/planetary/geological observations.

CV for Dr. Imanaka (PDF)


  • Laboratory measurements of the optical constants of organic aerosol analogues in the atmospheres of Titan and Saturn, PI: NASA Cassini Data Analysis Program
  • Experimental investigation of complex ion chemistry toward charged aerosol growth with high-mass-resolution TOF-MS, PI: NASA Cassini Data Analysis Program


NASA ADS Author search: H. Imanaka


Materese, C. K., et al. Ice Chemistry on Outer Solar System Bodies: Carboxylic Acids, Nitriles, and Urea Detected in Refractory Residues Produced from the UV Photolysis of N2:CH4:CO-Containing Ices 2014ApJ...788..111M

Imanaka, H., et al. Optical constants of Titan tholins at mid-infrared wavelengths (2.5-25 μm) and the possible chemical nature of Titan's haze particles 2012Icar..218..247I

Lavvas, P., et al. Surface Chemistry and Particle Shape: Processes for the Evolution of Aerosols in Titan's Atmosphere 2011ApJ...728...80L

Imanaka, H., Smith, M. A. EUV Photochemical Production of Unsaturated Hydrocarbons: Implications to EUV Photochemistry in Titan and Jovian Planets 2009JPCA..11311187I

Neish, C. D., et al. Rate Measurements of the Hydrolysis of Complex Organic Macromolecules in Cold Aqueous Solutions: Implications for Prebiotic Chemistry on the Early Earth and Titan 2008AsBio...8..273N

Sekine, Y., et al. The role of organic haze in Titan's atmospheric chemistry. II. Effect of heterogeneous reaction to the hydrogen budget and chemical composition of the atmosphere 2008Icar..194..201S

Sekine, Y., et al. The role of organic haze in Titan's atmospheric chemistry. I. Laboratory investigation on heterogeneous reaction of atomic hydrogen with Titan tholin 2008Icar..194..186S

Imanaka, H., Smith, M. A. Role of photoionization in the formation of complex organic molecules in Titan's upper atmosphere 2007GeoRL..3402204I

Cruikshank, D. P., et al. Tholins as coloring agents on outer Solar System bodies 2005AdSpR..36..178C

Imanaka, H., et al. Laboratory experiments of Titan tholin formed in cold plasma at various pressures: implications for nitrogen-containing polycyclic aromatic compounds in Titan haze 2004Icar..168..344I

Khare, B., et al. Proton Irradiation of Carbon Nanotubes 2003NanoL...3..643K

Khare, B. N.; Wilhite, P.; Quinn, R. C.; Chen, B.; Schingler, R. H.; Tran, B.; Imanaka, H.; So, C. R.; Bauschlicher, C. W., Jr.; Meyyappan, M., Functionalization of Carbon Nanotubes by Ammonia Glow-Discharge: Experiments and Modeling, J. Phys. Chem. B., 108, 8166-8172, 2004.

Khare, B. N., et al. A glow-discharge approach for functionalization of carbon nanotubes 2002ApPhL..81.5237K

Khare, B. N., et al. Analysis of the Time-Dependent Chemical Evolution of Titan Haze Tholin 2002Icar..160..172K