Mitchio Okumura

Professor of Chemical Physics

Mail Code: MC 127-72
Office: 104 Noyes Laboratory
Phone: 626-395-6557
Email: mo@​
Administrative Assistant:
B.S., Yale University, 1979; M.S., 1979; C.P.G.S., University of Cambridge, 1980; Ph.D., University of California, 1986. Assistant Professor, Caltech, 1988-94; Associate Professor, 1994-2003; Professor, 2003-. Executive Officer, 2006-10.
Research Areas: Chemistry

Research Interests

Spectroscopy and Chemistry of Ionic Clusters

The research activities of the Okumura Group are in the areas of laser spectroscopy, kinetics, and reaction dynamics, applied to problems in atmospheric chemistry. We study atmospheric free radicals and transient intermediates in order to understand the reactions and photochemistry that are most important in the troposphere and stratosphere. Our goal is both to determine parameters of key reactions and species in the atmosphere, and to understand the chemical physics of these processes at the most fundamental level.


  • Laser spectroscopy of reactive intermediates
  • Reaction rates, mechanisms and dynamics of free radicals, clusters, and transient species Chemistry of peroxyl and alkoxyl radicals
  • Photochemistry and photodissociation dynamics
  • Mechanisms of termolecular radical-radical reactions
  • Nonadiabatic effects and multiple surfaces in radical reactions
  • The Jahn-Teller Effect in NO3
  • Long range intemolecular forces
  • Isotope effects
  • Development of methods in cavity-enhanced and heterodyne-detected laser spectroscopy