Document Actions

You are here: FRIAS Fellows Fellows 2020/21 Prof. Dr. Murugappan Muthukumar

Prof. Dr. Murugappan Muthukumar

University of Massachusetts
Polymer Physics
External Senior Fellow
Marie S. Curie FCFP Fellow
September, December 2017; 2018 tba


After his undergraduate education in University of Madras, India, Murugappan Muthukumar did his Ph.D. in Chemical Physics at the University of Chicago under the supervision of Professor Karl Freed. After his postdoctoral fellowship with Sir Sam Edwards in the Cavendish Laboratory at the Cambridge University, he joined the faculty of Illinois Institute of Technology for a couple of years, and then moved to the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, where he is the Wilmer D. Barrett Distinguished Professor of Polymer Science and Engineering. His current topics of interest include polymer crystallization, polyelectrolyte physics, assembly of viruses, polymer translocation, and physics of vision.

Selected Publications

  • M. Muthukumar, Ordinary-extraordinary transition in dynamics of solutions of charged macromolecules, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. (USA), 113, 12627-12632 (2016).
  • B. Jeon and M. Muthukumar, Electrostatic control of polymer translocation speed through alpha-hemolysin protein pore, Macromolecules, 49, 9132-9138 (2016).
  • M. Muthukumar, Electrostatic correlations in polyelectrolyte solutions, Polymer Science, Series A, 58, 852-863 (2016).
  • D. Mondal and M. Muthukumar, Stochastic resonance during a polymer translocation process, J. Chem. Phys. 144, 144901 (2016).
  • S. Morozova and M. Muthukumar, Elasticity at swelling equilibrium of ultrasoft polyelectrolyte gels: Comparisons of theory and experiments, Macromolecules, 50, 2456-2466 (2017).

FRIAS Research Project

Sensing of single polymer molecules with nanopores: joining the forces of theory and experiment

There is tremendous scientific and technological interest in promulgating platforms for single-molecule sensing in the context of biotechnology, drug delivery, and sequencing technologies. The general premise of translocation of charged molecules through narrow constrictions, which is presently ubiquitous to the sought-out technologies, is extremely rich and challenging. The various issues involve collective behaviors of charged macromolecules, electrolyte behavior, structure of water under confinement, and electro-hydrodynamics. The proposed collaboration brings the best teams in the world in terms of complementary skill sets of theory/modeling and experimentation. The outcome of the proposed teamwork is a fundamental understanding of singlemolecule sensing and device fabrication for societal impact.