Dr Rahul Mangal is an Associate Professor in Chemical Engineering at IIT Kanpur. His research interests include Soft Matter, Polymer Physics, Active Matter and Liquid Crystals.


  • Active Matter
  • Polymer Nano-Composites
  • Soft Matter
  • Rheology of Composites & Complex Fluids


  • Post Doc, University of Wisconsin Madison, WI, USA
  • PhD, Cornell University, NY, USA
  • M.Tech., Chemical Engineering, IIT Kanpur
  • B.Tech., Chemical Engineering, IIT Kanpur


  • Elected as Associate Fellow of Indian Science Academy (INSA) (2023)
  • Excellence in Teaching Award, IIT Kanpur (2023)
  • Featured as Emerging Young Researcher, Soft Matter (2023)
  • Batch of 1979 Young Faculty Fellowship, IIT Kanpur (2021)
  • INAE Young Engineer Award (2020)
  • Early Career Research Award, SERB (2019)
  • Ramanujan Fellowship, SERB (2017)

Teaching @ IITK

Undergraduate Courses

  • CHE211A: Fluid Mechanics and its Applications (Instructor)
  • CHE453A: Chemical Process Design (Instructor)
  • CHE391A: Unit Operations Lab. (Instructor)
  • ESO204A: Fluid Mechanics (Tutor)

Graduate Courses

  • CHE677A: Introduction to Physics of Polymeric Systems (Instructor)


Research Interest

  • Active Matter
  • Polymer Nano-Composites
  • Soft Matter
  • Rheology of Composites & Complex Fluids

Ongoing Projects

Active Colloids and Emulsions

Active particles or emulsions are capable of harnessing energy from their surroundings and drive themselves out of thermodynamic equilibrium. Consequently, unlike Brownian particles, where equilibrium thermal fluctuations leads to random motion, artificial active colloids offer more control over the dynamics of particles and feature various novel transport and self-assembly behaviors. In our group, we are currently endeavoring into investigating several unexplored fundamental questions pertaining to their motion through Single Particle Tracking experiments.

Please go through this recorded video seminar which Dr. Mangal delivered in Compflu 2020.

Impact of Shock Waves on the Structure and Dynamics of Polymer Nano-composites (PNCs)

Addition of nano-particles (NPs) to polymer hosts is a well-practiced method for augmenting various properties of the host, including mechanical strength, thermal stability, barrier properties, and wear resistance. Hence, lately there has been an active interest in using PNCs as shock mitigater for protective equipments in case of a bomb explosion. In this work we are experimentally investigating the impact of shock waves on the fundamental physical properties of PNCs. Our long term goal is to design a nano-composite material offering best resistance to shock waves.

Open Positions

I am looking for motivated Post Docs, PhDs, Masters/Dual Degree students to work with me on interesting problems in colloids and complex fluids. Please check my research brief and papers for further details. Interested candidates can contact me by email with a short description about their interests.


Recent News

  • Jun.1,2023: Dr. Mangal has been featured has a young emerging investigator by Soft Matter,
  • Mar.9,2023: Prateek published another article in Soft Matter,
  • Feb.21,2023: Prateek published an article in Soft Matter,
  • Jan.25,2023: Harishwar published an article in ACS Physical Chemitry Au,
  • Oct.,2022: Prateek published a review article in Current Opinion in Colloid & Interface Science,
  • Feb.15,2022: Karnika published an article in Langmuir,


Pair-Interactions of active ctive SiO2-Pt Janus Colloids

Karnika Singh, Harishwar Raman, Shwetabh Tripathi, Hrithik Sharma, Akash Choudhary, Rahul Mangal (2023)

Journal Publications

Mode switching of active droplets in macromolecular solutions

Prateek Dwivedi, Atishat Shrivastava, Dipin Pillai, and Rahul Mangal, Soft Matter, 19, 4099-4108 (2023)

Deforming Active Droplets in Viscoelastic Media

Prateek Dwivedi, Atishay Shrivastava, Dipin Pillai, Naveen Tiwari, and Rahul Mangal, Soft Matter, 19, 3783 (2023)

Dynamics of Active SiO2-Pt Janus Colloids in dilute Poly(Ethylene Oxide) solutions

Harishwar Raman, Sneham Das, Hrithik Sharma, Karnika Singh, Shruti Gupta and Rahul Mangal, ACS Physical Chemistry Au, 3, 3, 279-289 (2023)

Self-Propelled Swimming Droplets

P. Dwivedi, Dipin Pillai and and R. Mangal, Current Opinion in Colloid & Interface Science, 61:101614 (2022)

Biomimetic Polymer Adhesives

P. Dwivedi, K. Singh, K. Chaudhary and R. Mangal, ACS Applied Polymer Materials, 4, 7, 4588-4608 (2022).

Interaction of Active Janus Colloids with Tracers

K. Singh, A. Yadav, P. Dwivedi and R. Mangal, Langmuir, 38, 8, 2686-2698 (2022).

Rheotaxis of Active Droplets

P. Dwivedi, A. Srivasatava, D. Pillai and R. Mangal, Physics of Fluids, 33, 082108 (2021).

Impurity-induced nematic-isotropic transition of liquid crystals

P. K. Jana, J. Lam, R. Mangal, M.K. Alava, N. Parveen and L.Laurson, Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics, 23, 14, 8825 (2021).

Solute Induced Jittery motion of self-propelled droplets

P. Dwivedi, B. R. Si, D. Pillai and R. Mangal, Physics of Fluids, 33, 022103 (2021).

Fabrication and Characterization of Porous Polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) Adhesives

M. Vinay, T. Deshpande, Y. R. Singh, S. Patil, A. Sharma and R. Mangal, ACS Applied Polymer Materials, 3, 1, 130 (2020).

Self-Propelled Janus Colloids in Shear Flow

B. Ranjan Si, P. Patel, and R. Mangal, Langmuir, 36, 40, 11888 (2020).

Instability Driven by shear thinning and elasticity in the flow of concentrated polymer solutions through microtubes.

B. Chandra, R. Mangal, D. Das and V. Shankar, Phys. Rev. Fluids 4, 083301 (2019).

Dynamics of nanoparticles in entangled polymer solutions.

P. Nath, R. Mangal, F. F. Kohle, S. Chodhury, S. Narayanan, U. B. Wiesner and L. A. Archer, Langmuir 34(1), (2017).

Active Janus Particles at Interfaces of Liquid Crystals.

R. Mangal, N. Karthik, Y. K. Kim, E. Bukusoglu, U. M. Cordova-Figuerora and N. L. Abbott, Langmuir 33 (41), (2017).

Phase stability and dynamics of entangled polymer nanoparticle composites.

R. Mangal, S. Srivastava, and L. A. Archer, Nature Communications 32 (2), (2016).

A highly reversible room-temperature lithium metal battery based on crosslinked hairy nanoparticles.

S. Chodhury, R. Mangal, A. Agrawal and L. A. Archer, Nature Communications 6, 10105 (2015).

Size-Dependent Particle Dynamics in Entangled Polymer Nanocomposites.

R. Mangal, S. Srivastava, S. Narayanan and L. A. Archer, Langmuir 6, 7198 (2015).

Multiscale Dynamics of Polymers in Particle-Rich Nanocomposites.

R. Mangal, , Y. H. Wen, S. Chodhury and L. A. Archer, Macromolecules 49 (14), (2016).

Enthalpy-Driven Stabilization of Dispersions of Polymer-Grafted Nanoparticles in High-Molecular-Weight Polymer Melts.

R. Mangal, , P. Nath, M. Tikekar, and L. A. Archer, Macromolecules 32 (41), (2016).

Hyperdiffusive Dynamics in Newtonian Nanoparticle Fluids.

S. Srivastava, P. Agarwal, R. Mangal, D. L. Koch, S. Narayanan and L. A. Archer, Macroletters 4 (10) (2015).

Relaxation Dynamics of Nanoparticle-Tethered Polymer Chains.

S. Kim, R. Mangal, and L. A. Archer, Macromolecules 48 (17) (2015).

Biomimetic Wet Adhesion of Viscoelastic Liquid Films Anchored on Micropatterned Elastic Substrates.

S. Patil, R. Mangal, A. Malasi and A. Sharma, Langmuir 28 (41) (2012).

Current Members

Post Docs

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Dr. Pawan Kumar  ( )

Dr. Pawan hails from Sonipat, Haryana. He did his undergraduate studies at the Kirorimal College, University of Delhi. He did his master's and doctorate in Physics from IIT Bombay in the area of nonlinear dynamics. During his doctorate, he initiated experiments involving nonlinear phenomena of chemo-mechanical coupled oscillators. Thereafter, he joined a postdoc position at the University of Szeged in Hungary and had a short-term postdoc experience at Florida State University in USA as well. During his postdoc stints, he worked on self-organized patterns, surface instabilities, and active matter systems. His current focus is on investigating the impact of confinement and boundaries on the dynamics of active droplets.

PhD Students

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Prateek Dwivedi  ( )

Prateek hails from Gandidham (Kachh) Gujarat. He did his B.Tech in Chemical Engineering from Guru Ghasidas Vishwavidyalaya Bilaspur (Chhatisgarh) and M.Tech. from IIT Roorkee. He has worked in Cargill India Private Limited in Davangere Karnataka. Currently, he is focusing on investigating the dynamics of active emulsions.

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Karnika Singh  ( )

Karnika hails from Kanpur, UP. She recently finished her B.Tech. from MNNIT Allahbad, UP. She is presently working on ivestigating motion of Active Janus Colloids in complex surroundings.

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Harishwar  (

Harishwar hails from Aruvankadu (near Ooty), Tamil Nadu. He did his B.Tech in Chemical Engineering from National Institute of Technology Tiruchirappalli. He is currently investigating the behaviour of Active Janus Colloids in Viscoelastic media

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Sobiya Ashraf  ( )

Sobiya hails from Anantnag disctrict of Jammu and Kashmir. She obtained her B.Tech. from NIT Srinagar in 2021. Presently, she is working on investigating the dynamics of self-propelled droplets under confinement.

MTech / Dual Degree Studentss

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Pankaj Sonkar  ( )

Past Students

Past Masters Students

  • Keerthi Vasan (Graduated 2023): Presently in University of Texas A&M
  • Atishay Shrivastava (Graduated 2022): Presently in TaTa 1MG
  • Ravindra Jangid (Graduated 2021): Presently in ICICI
  • Bishwa Ranjan Si (Graduated 2020): Presently purshuing his PhD at John Hopkins University


Office : +91-512-2592002
Laboratory : +91-512-2596373
Office : 451 Faculty Building, IIT Kanpur
Laboratory : 307 NL-II, IIT Kanpur
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