Michael Rubinstein

Michael Rubinstein

Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science

Office Location: 
3377 Fciemas Building, Box 90300, Durham, NC 27708
Front Office Address: 
3377 Fciemas Building, Box 90300, Durham, NC 27708
(919) 660-5365


The research of the Rubinstein group is in the field of polymer theory and computer simulations. The unique properties of polymeric systems are due to the size, topology and interactions of the molecules they are made of. Our goal is to understand the properties of various polymeric systems and to design new systems with even more interesting and useful properties.

Our approach is based upon building and solving simple molecular models of different polymeric systems. The models we develop are simple enough to be solved either analytically or numerically, but contain the main features leading to unique properties of real polymers. Computer simulations of our models serve as an important bridge between analytical calculations and experiments.

Education & Training

  • Ph.D., Harvard University 1983

Paturej, Jarosław, et al. “Molecular structure of bottlebrush polymers in melts.” Science Advances, vol. 2, no. 11, American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), Nov. 2016, pp. e1601478–e1601478. Crossref, doi:10.1126/sciadv.1601478. Full Text

Choueiri, Rachelle M., et al. “Surface patterning of nanoparticles with polymer patches.” Nature, vol. 538, no. 7623, Springer Science and Business Media LLC, Oct. 2016, pp. 79–83. Crossref, doi:10.1038/nature19089. Full Text

Baeza, Guilhem P., et al. “Network dynamics in nanofilled polymers.” Nature Communications, vol. 7, no. 1, Springer Science and Business Media LLC, Sept. 2016. Crossref, doi:10.1038/ncomms11368. Full Text

Pandiyarajan, C. K., et al. “Surface-Anchored Poly(N-isopropylacrylamide) Orthogonal Gradient Networks.” Macromolecules, vol. 49, no. 14, American Chemical Society (ACS), July 2016, pp. 5076–83. Crossref, doi:10.1021/acs.macromol.6b01048. Full Text

Lebedeva, Natalia V., et al. “Multicore expandable microbubbles: Controlling density and expansion temperature.” Polymer, vol. 90, Elsevier BV, May 2016, pp. 45–52. Crossref, doi:10.1016/j.polymer.2016.02.050. Full Text

Leuty, Gary M., et al. “Tension Amplification in Tethered Layers of Bottle-Brush Polymers.” Macromolecules, vol. 49, no. 5, American Chemical Society (ACS), Mar. 2016, pp. 1950–60. Crossref, doi:10.1021/acs.macromol.5b02305. Full Text

Daniel, William F. M., et al. “Solvent-free, supersoft and superelastic bottlebrush melts and networks.” Nature Materials, vol. 15, no. 2, Springer Science and Business Media LLC, Feb. 2016, pp. 183–89. Crossref, doi:10.1038/nmat4508. Full Text

Ge, Ting, et al. “Self-Similar Conformations and Dynamics in Entangled Melts and Solutions of Nonconcatenated Ring Polymers.” Macromolecules, vol. 49, no. 2, American Chemical Society (ACS), Jan. 2016, pp. 708–22. Crossref, doi:10.1021/acs.macromol.5b02319. Full Text

Li, Yang, et al. “Universal behavior of hydrogels confined to narrow capillaries.” Scientific Reports, vol. 5, no. 1, Springer Science and Business Media LLC, Dec. 2015. Crossref, doi:10.1038/srep17017. Full Text

Bharti, Bhuvnesh, et al. “Nanocapillarity-mediated magnetic assembly of nanoparticles into ultraflexible filaments and reconfigurable networks.” Nature Materials, vol. 14, no. 11, Springer Science and Business Media LLC, Nov. 2015, pp. 1104–09. Crossref, doi:10.1038/nmat4364. Full Text