Rahul Mangal

Associate Professor

  • Email


  • Office Phone No.

    +91-512-259-2002 (Office)
    +91-512-259-6373 (Lab)

  • Office & Lab

    Faculty Building 451

  • Group Home Page IRINS Profile

Research Interest

  • Polymer physics
  • Colloids
  • Complex fluids
  • Nanocomposites
  • Active matter
  • Liquid crystals
  • Soft Matter


  • B.Tech-M.Tech, IIT Kanpur, 2010.
  • PhD, Cornell University, 2016.
  • Post-doc, University of Wisconsin Madison, 2016-17.

Research Overview

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.

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.


  • Fulbright-Nehru Academic and Professional Excellence Fellowship for the year 2024-25
  • 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), Indian National Academy of Engineering
  • Early Career Research Award, (2019-2022), Science and Engineering Research Board, Government of India
  • Ramanujan Fellowship, (2017-2022), Science and Engineering Research Board, Government of India
  • Outstanding Graduate Teaching Assistant, (2016), Robert Frederick Smith School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, Cornell University
  • McMullen Fellowship, (2012), Robert Frederick Smith School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, Cornell University
  • Academic Excellence, (2009), Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kanpur
  • Academic Excellence, (2008), Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kanpur

Work Experience

  • Manager, Reliance Industries Limited, Jamnagar, Gujarat, India (Jul.2010 – Jul.2012)


  • P Dwivedi, S Ashraf, P Kumar, D Pillai, R Mangal, Péclet dependent Interactions of Self-Propelled Droplets, arXiv:2404.13740, (2024).
  • K Singh, H Raman, S Tripathi, H Sharma, A Choudhary, R Mangal, Pair Interactions of Self-Propelled SiO2–Pt Janus Colloids: Chemically Mediated Encounters, Langmuir, 40, 14, 7328–7343 (2024).
  • P Kumar, P Dwivedi, S Ashraf, D Pillai, R Mangal, Motility and pair-wise interactions of chemically active droplets in 1-D confinement, arXiv preprint arXiv:2401.11154, (2024).
  • Karnika Singh, Harishwar Raman, Shwetabh Tripathi, Hrithik Sharma, Akash Choudhary, Rahul Mangal, Pair-Interactions of Self-Propelled SiO2-Pt Janus Colloids, arXiv:2309.04165, (2023).
  • Harishwar Raman, Sneham Das, Hrithik Sharma, Karnika Singh, Shruti Gupta, Rahul Mangal, Dynamics of Active SiO2–Pt Janus Colloids in Dilute Poly (ethylene oxide) Solutions, ACS Physical Chemistry Au, 3 (3),279-289 (2023).
  • Prateek Dwivedi, Atishay Shrivastava, Dipin Pillai, Naveen Tiwari, Rahul Mangal, Deforming active droplets in viscoelastic solutions, Soft Matter, 19 (21),3783-3793 (2023).
  • Prateek Dwivedi, Atishay Shrivastava, Dipin Pillai, Rahul Mangal, Mode switching of active droplets in macromolecular solutions, Soft Matter, 19 (22), 4099-4108 (2023).
  • P. Dwivedi, A. Shrivastava, D. Pillai, R. Mangal, Rheotaxis of Active Droplets, Physics of Fluids, 33, 082108 (2022).
  • P. Dwivedi, B. R. Si, D. Pillai, R. Mangal, Solute Induced Jittery Motion in Active Droplets, Physics of Fluids, 33, 022103 (2021).
  • P. K. Jana, J. Lam, R. Mangal, M.K. Alava, N. Parveen, L.Laurson, Impurity-induced nematic-isotropic transition of liquid crystals, Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics, 23, 14 (2021).
  • M. Vinay, T. Deshpande, Y. R. Singh, S. Patil, A. Sharma, R. Mangal, Fabrication and Characterization of Porous Polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) Adhesives, ACS Applied Polymer Materials, 3, 1 (2020).