Michael Rubinstein

Michael Rubinstein

Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science

Professor of Biomedical Engineering (Joint)

Professor of Physics (Joint)

Professor of Chemistry (Joint)

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

Sun, Frank C., et al. “Flory theorem for structurally asymmetric mixtures..” Physical Review Letters, vol. 99, no. 13, Sept. 2007. Epmc, doi:10.1103/physrevlett.99.137801. Full Text

Nie, Zhihong, et al. “Self-assembly of metal–polymer analogues of amphiphilic triblock copolymers.” Nature Materials, vol. 6, no. 8, Springer Nature, Aug. 2007, pp. 609–14. Crossref, doi:10.1038/nmat1954. Full Text

Matsui, H., et al. “A physical linkage between cystic fibrosis airway surface dehydration and Pseudomonas aeruginosa biofilms.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, vol. 103, no. 48, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Nov. 2006, pp. 18131–36. Crossref, doi:10.1073/pnas.0606428103. Full Text

Wang, Zuowei, and Michael Rubinstein. “Regimes of Conformational Transitions of a Diblock Polyampholyte.” Macromolecules, vol. 39, no. 17, American Chemical Society (ACS), Aug. 2006, pp. 5897–912. Crossref, doi:10.1021/ma0607517. Full Text

Guo, Ji, et al. “Solution Properties of a Fluorinated Alkyl Methacrylate Polymer in Carbon Dioxide.” Macromolecules, vol. 39, no. 9, American Chemical Society (ACS), May 2006, pp. 3427–34. Crossref, doi:10.1021/ma052409k. Full Text

Liao, Qi, et al. “Counterion-Correlation-Induced Attraction and Necklace Formation in Polyelectrolyte Solutions:  Theory and Simulations.” Macromolecules, vol. 39, no. 5, American Chemical Society (ACS), Mar. 2006, pp. 1920–38. Crossref, doi:10.1021/ma052086s. Full Text

Sheiko, Sergei S., et al. “Adsorption-induced scission of carbon–carbon bonds.” Nature, vol. 440, no. 7081, Springer Nature, Mar. 2006, pp. 191–94. Crossref, doi:10.1038/nature04576. Full Text

Xu, Hui, et al. “Flow-Enhanced Epitaxial Ordering of Brush-Like Macromolecules on Graphite.” Langmuir, vol. 22, no. 3, American Chemical Society (ACS), Jan. 2006, pp. 1254–59. Crossref, doi:10.1021/la052163c. Full Text

LaRue, Isaac, et al. “Reversible Morphological Transitions of Polystyrene-b-polyisoprene Micelles.” Macromolecules, vol. 39, no. 1, American Chemical Society (ACS), Jan. 2006, pp. 309–14. Crossref, doi:10.1021/ma051548z. Full Text

DOBRYNIN, A., and M. RUBINSTEIN. “Theory of polyelectrolytes in solutions and at surfaces.” Progress in Polymer Science, vol. 30, no. 11, Elsevier BV, Nov. 2005, pp. 1049–118. Crossref, doi:10.1016/j.progpolymsci.2005.07.006. Full Text