Research Interest:

  • Soft Matter, Complex Fluids and Polymer Engineering


  • The main theme that underlies the various research problems that my group works on, is to develop an understanding of how microstructure evolves in soft materials, to relate structure to properties; and to use this understanding to engineer application-specific structure. The term “soft materials” encompasses a wide range of technologically important materials, including polymers, colloidal dispersions, surfactants/lipids, liquid crystals and gels, whose structure and functionality are determined by a large number of weak interactions. Equilibrium, metastable and unstable non-equilibrium states of such materials are ubiquitous in our daily experience and we encounter them as plastic bags, toothpaste and shaving foam, the LCs in LCD screens, automotive lubricants, “slimy” biological materials, etc.
  • Structure-property relations in polymers; Polymer phase transitions; Colloid-Surfactant interactions; Self assembly; Lipid Phase behaviour; Ice-templating
    • Experiments and simulations to investigate polymers, colloids and surfactants
    • Technology development and consulting projects with industry – Led projects with General Electric, Procter and Gamble, Exxon-Mobil, Honeywell, Du Pont, General Cable, Kraton, Reliance, Aditya Birla and Indian Oil Corporation (since 2002)

Professional Experience

  • 2001 Current- Scientist, National Chemical Laboratory, Pune, India
  • Aug/Sep 2007: Visiting Professor, Universite du Main, Le Mans
  • 2000-2001: Volkswagon Postdoctoral Fellow, Max Planck Institute for Colloids and Interfaces, Germany (Advisor: Frank Caruso)
  • 1994-2000: MS/PhD in Chemical Engineering at the California Institute of Technology (Advisor: Julia A Kornfield)
  • 1990-1994: BTech in Chemical Engineering (Indian Institute of Technology-Bombay)

Selected Publications

  • “Fire retardant, self-extinguishing inorganic-polymer composite memory foams” Chatterjee, S. P. et. al. ACS Appl. Mater. Interf. 2017 9, 44864-44872.
  • “Linking catalyst-coated isotropic colloids into "active" flexible chains enhances their diffusivity” Biswas, B. et. al. ACS Nano 2017 11, 10025-10031.
  • “Compact polar moieties induce lipid-water systems to form discontinuous reverse micellar phase” Kumar, M. et. al. Soft Matter 2015, 11, 5417-5424. (cover page article)
  • “Soft colloidal scaffolds capable of elastic recovery after large compressive strains” R. Rajamanickam, et. al. Chem. Mater. 2014, 26, 5161-5168.
  • “Large amplitude oscillatory shear induces crystal chain orientation in velocity gradient direction” K. Sreenivas, and G. Kumaraswamy. ACS Macro Lett. 2014, 3, 6-9. 

Selected Granted Patents:

  • Surfactant-copolymer complexes as delivery devices for targeted delivery of hydrophobic compounds. US 9421270 B2
  • Self standing nanoparticle networks/scaffolds with controllable void dimensions. EP2365948; KR 10-1688882; CN 102245528; JP 5615840
  • Optically variable product security feature. CN 200980154562.9; AU 2009329038
  • Process for the preparation of sustained release agents for oral care products. IN 262826