Michael F. Rubner

  • TDK Professor Emeritus of Polymer Materials Science and Engineering
  • Margaret MacVicar Faculty Fellow
  • BS Chemistry, University of Lowell, 1982
  • PhD Polymer Science, MIT, 1986

Biotechnology; Nanotechnology; Polymers

Michael F. Rubner


The research of Professor Rubner's group is focused on the design, fabrication and properties of ultra-thin films of polymers for electrical, optical, and biomaterial applications. Much of this research utilizes a new, molecular-level layer-by-layer processing technique that makes it possible to fabricate complex thin film heterostructures with a wide range of properties.

Properties and applications of current interest include anti-fogging coatings, anti-reflection coatings, photonic band-gap reflectors, bio-inert coatings, bio-specific coatings, ink-jet and micro-contact printed patterned thin films, micro- and nanoporous thin films, structural color and patterned biosensors.

Fundamental studies are aimed at understanding hydrogen bonding and electrostatic multilayer assembly, interactions of cells and bacteria with surfaces, and mechanisms controlling the wetting of surfaces with water.

Recent News

Faculty Highlight: Michael Rubner

Professor Rubner has long collaborated with Professor Robert Cohen of Chemical Engineering. Their work has yielded anti-fog coatings as well as synthetic "backpacks" for living cells. See the MIT News…