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Tadashi Matsushita Obituary

Sep 07, 2017

Former vice-director of the Photon Factory, Prof. Dr. Tadashi Matsushita passed away in Tsukuba on July 7, 2017 at the age of 72. Born in 1945, he received his PhD degrees from the University of Tokyo in 1972. After working in Fuji photographic film, he came back to the University of Tokyo in 1975 then moved to KEK in 1980. He led the Photon Factory for long period as a Deputy Director of Institute of Materials Structure Science and the Head of Instrumentation Division of the Photon Factory in KEK. Photon Factory started its operation in 1982 as a second generation synchrotron facility. He led the upgrade project of the Photon Factory and made it a pseudo third generation facility of fairly low emittance (36 nmrad) with 10 insertion devices including in-vacuum type undulators. Also he led the constructions of many beamlines such as EXAFS using Si(311) channel-cut monochromator, versatile X-ray beamline using 53-pole multipole wiggler etc. He worked as the chairperson on the Japanese Society for Synchrotron Radiation Research and prevented to charge for beamtime at SPring-8 for nonproprietary research..

He is one of the pioneers of application of synchrotron radiation, contributing to modern x-ray optics and beamlines as well as energy-dispersive (ED) EXAFS instrumentation. He has greatly contributed to the aberration-free optics and constant beam-height double crystal monochromators which are now used as standard x-ray optics world-wide. He has demonstrated the capabilities and potential of ED-EXAFS, at SSRL with Paul Phizackerley in 1980, establishing the basis of a wide application of time-resolved EXAFS* which has been further brushed up to a state-of-the-art technique later by Alain Fontaine and Sakura Pascarelli.

Back at Photon Factory, he spent most of his time for administration of the facility. However, he preferred research to administration work. Thus after his retirement in 2008, he developed the energy-dispersive reflectivity measurement technique. This is also applied for time-resolved experiments and X-ray crystal truncation rod scattering.

Tadashi Matsushita will be sorely missed by the world’s XAFS community. Techniques he developed will be used by many researchers and will contribute to clarify many science questions.

*An energy-dispersive spectrometer for the rapid measurement of X-ray absorption spectra using synchrotron radiation, R. P. Phizackerley, Z. U. Rek, G. B. Stephenson, S. D. Conradson, K. O. Hodgson, T. Matsushita and H. Oyanagi: J. Appl. Cryst. 16, 220 (1983).


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Tadashi (top) and Sakura and Alain at the EDXAS workshop (bottom) (Courtesy of Yasu Niwa and Sakura Pascarelli)