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

Liu, K., et al. “Step-Growth Polymerization of Inorganic Nanoparticles.” Science, vol. 329, no. 5988, American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), July 2010, pp. 197–200. Crossref, doi:10.1126/science.1189457. Full Text

Panyukov, Sergey, et al. “Tension Amplification in Molecular Brushes in Solutions and on Substrates†.” The Journal of Physical Chemistry B, vol. 113, no. 12, American Chemical Society (ACS), Mar. 2009, pp. 3750–68. Crossref, doi:10.1021/jp807671b. Full Text

Hinczewski, Michael, et al. “End-Monomer Dynamics in Semiflexible Polymers.” Macromolecules, vol. 42, no. 3, American Chemical Society (ACS), Feb. 2009, pp. 860–75. Crossref, doi:10.1021/ma802017g. Full Text

Kapnistos, M., et al. “Unexpected power-law stress relaxation of entangled ring polymers.” Nature Materials, vol. 7, no. 12, Springer Nature, Dec. 2008, pp. 997–1002. Crossref, doi:10.1038/nmat2292. Full Text

LaRue, Isaac, et al. “Effect of the Soluble Block Size on Spherical Diblock Copolymer Micelles.” Macromolecules, vol. 41, no. 17, American Chemical Society (ACS), Sept. 2008, pp. 6555–63. Crossref, doi:10.1021/ma800403r. Full Text

Nie, Zhihong, et al. ““Supramolecular” Assembly of Gold Nanorods End-Terminated with Polymer “Pom-Poms”:  Effect of Pom-Pom Structure on the Association Modes.” Journal of the American Chemical Society, vol. 130, no. 11, American Chemical Society (ACS), Mar. 2008, pp. 3683–89. Crossref, doi:10.1021/ja711150k. Full Text

Shirvanyants, David, et al. “Long-Range Correlations in a Polymer Chain Due to Its Connectivity.” Macromolecules, vol. 41, no. 4, American Chemical Society (ACS), Feb. 2008, pp. 1475–85. Crossref, doi:10.1021/ma071443r. Full Text

Shusharina, N. P., and M. Rubinstein. “Concentration Regimes in Solutions of Polyelectrolyte Stars.” Macromolecules, vol. 41, no. 1, American Chemical Society (ACS), Jan. 2008, pp. 203–17. Crossref, doi:10.1021/ma0711442. Full Text

Xu, H., et al. “Molecular Pressure Sensors.” Advanced Materials, vol. 19, no. 19, Wiley, Oct. 2007, pp. 2930–34. Crossref, doi:10.1002/adma.200602376. Full Text

Liao, Qi, et al. “Rouse Dynamics of Polyelectrolyte Solutions:  Molecular Dynamics Study.” Macromolecules, vol. 40, no. 21, American Chemical Society (ACS), Oct. 2007, pp. 7671–79. Crossref, doi:10.1021/ma070666e. Full Text