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Vivek M. Prabhu

Research Interests:
Polymers and polymer-nanoparticle complexes for applications to nanoparticle health and safety, medical imaging, and therapeutics. In particular, the structure of polymers with long-range interactions (polyelectrolytes) as probed by light, X-ray, and neutron scattering methods. Also, the cooperative and self-diffusion of polyelectrolytes as probed by dynamic light scattering, fluorescence correlation spectroscopy, and neutron spin-echo spectroscopy. 

Professional Background:

  • 2015 -present: Project Leader, Polyelectrolyte Solutions and Gels
  • 2007-2013:Project Leader, Nanoparticle Assembly
  • 2003-2010: Project Leader, Polymers for Next Generation Lithography
  • 2003-Present: Chemical Engineer, Materials Science and Engineering Division (Polymers Division)
  • 2001-2003: NRC-NIST Postdoctoral Fellow, Polymers Division

Awards and Honors:
  • MML Grass Roots Safety Award (2014)
  • Sigma Xi Young Investigator Award (2010)
  • NIST Slichter Award (2007)
  • National Academy of Engineering Frontiers of Engineering (2005)
  • NRC-NIST Postdoctoral Fellowship (2001-2003)
  • NIH Chemistry-Biology Interface fellowship (1999-2001)

Recent External Service:

Recent Invited Presentations:

  • “Hierarchical structure and dynamics of triblock copolymer solutions." Gordon Research Conference on Colloids, Macromolecular and Polyelectrolyte solutions, Ventura, CA 2/10/2016.
  • “Aqueous self-assembly fundamentals of functional triblock copolymers." PSE Colloquium, University of Massachusetts-Amherst 11/6/2015.
  • Workshop on “Structure and Dynamics in Soft Matter Systems” at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Talk title: Structure in aqueous polymer solutions: neutron and light scattering. 9/1/2015.
  • “Future and Current Use of Neutron Spin-Echo Spectroscopy in Condensed Matter Research Workshop” at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Talk title: Hierarchical structure and dynamics of triblock copolymer gels: opportunities for neutron spin-echo spectroscopy. 5/13-14/2015
  • US-Japan Workshop on Standards for Emerging Technologies under Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) –NIST Memorandum of Understanding. Tokyo, Japan. 2/13/15
  • Polymer & Networks Group, Tokyo Japan. Title: Structure and Self Assembly of thermoreversible triblock copolymer hydrogels. 11/12/2014
  • In situ electrochemical small-angle neutron scattering for quantitative structure and redox properties of nanoparticles, Electrochemical Society, Orlando 14 May 2014


44.V.M. Prabhu et al. “Equilibrium self-assembly, structure and dynamics of clusters of star-like micelles,” ACS Macro Letters, 4, 1128 (2015).

43.V.M. Prabhu et al. “Star-like structure of oligocarbonate-fluorene end-functionalized poly(ethylene glycol) ABA triblock copolymers below the gel point.” Macromolecular Symposia, 358, 157-169 (2015).

42.S Venkataraman, AL Lee,HT Maune, JL Hedrick, VM Prabhu, YY Yang, Formation of Disk- and Stacked-Disk-like Self-Assembled Morphologies from Cholesterol-Functionalized Amphiphilic Polycarbonate Diblock Copolymers, Macromolecules, 46(12), 4839 (2013).

41. R.E. Cavicchi, D.C. Meier, C. Presser, V.M. Prabhu, S. Guha, Single Laser Pulse Effects on Suspended-Au-Nanoparticle Size Distributions and Morphology, J. Phys. Chem. C 117(20), 10866-10875 (2013).

40. N Shin, J Kang, LJ Richter, VM Prabhu, RJ Kline, DA Fischer, DM DeLongchamp, MF Toney, SK Satija, DJ Gundlach, B Purushothaman, JE Anthony, DY Yoon “Vertically Segregated Structure and Properties of Small Molecule–Polymer Blend Semiconductors for Organic Thin-Film Transistors” Advanced Functional Materials 23 (3) 366-376 (2013).

39.VM Prabhu, S Kang, J Sha, PV Bonnesen, SK Satija, WL Wu, CK Ober,"Neutron Reflectivity Characterization of the Photoacid Reaction-Diffusion Latent and Developed Images of Molecular Resists for Extreme Ultraviolet Lithography," Langmuir,28,7665(2012).

38.VM Prabhu and V Reipa,"In situ Electrochemical Small-Angle Neutron Scattering (eSANS) for Quantitative Structure and Redox Properties of Nanoparticles," J. Phys. Chem. Lett., 3, 646(2012).

37.VM Prabhu, S Kang, RJ Kline, DM DeLongchamp, DA Fischer, WL Wu, SK Satija, PV Bonnesen, J Sha, CK Ober,"Characterization of the Non-uniform Reaction in Chemically Amplified Calix[4]resorcinarene Molecular Resist Thin Films," Aus. J. of Chem., 64, 1065(2011).

36. YS Chung, N Shin, J Kang, Y Jo, VM Prabhu, SK Satija, RJ Kline, DM DeLongchamp, MF Toney, MA Loth, B Purushothaman, JE Anthony, DY Yoon, "Zone-refinement effect in small molecule-polymer blend semiconductors for organic thin-film transistors," J. Amer. Chem. Soc., 133, 414 (2011).

35. KA Lavery, VM Prabhu, S Satija, WL Wu, "Lateral uniformity in chemical composition along a buried reaction front in polymers using off-specular reflectivity," J. of Physics-Condensed Matter, 22, 474001 (2010).

34. VM Prabhu, S Kang, DL VanderHart, SK Satija, EK Lin, WL Wu, "Photoresist latent and developer mages as probed by neutron reflectivity methods," Advanced Materials, 23, 388(2011).

33. RJ Murphy, D Pristinski, K Migler, JF Douglas, VM Prabhu, "Dynamic light scattering investigations of nanoparticle aggregation following a light-induced pH jump," Journal of Chemical Physics, 132, 194903(2010).

32. S Kang, VM Prabhu, CL Soles, EK Lin, W-L Wu, "Characterization of the Photoacid Diffusion Length and Reaction Kinetics in EUV Photoresists with IR Spectroscopy," Macromolecules, 43(9), 4275-4286 (2010).

31. J Sha, J-K Lee, S Kang, VM Prabhu, CL Soles, PV Bonnesen and CK Ober, "Architectural effects on acid reaction-diffusion kinetics in molecular glass photoresists," Chemistry of Materials, 22 (10), 3093–3098(2010).

30. VM Prabhu and SD Hudson, "Nanoparticle Assembly: DNA Provides Control," News and Views, Nature Materials, 8, 265(2009).

29. DL VanderHart, VM Prabhu, A De Silva, NM Felix, and CK Ober, "Solid state NMR investigations of photoresist molecular glasses including blend behavior with a photoacid generator," Journal of Materials Chemistry, 19, 2683(2009).

28. VM Prabhu, A Rao, S Kang, EK Lin, SK Satija, Manipulation of the asymmetric swelling fronts of photoresist polyelectrolyte gradient thin films, Journal of Physical Chemistry B, 112, 15628(2008).

27. DL VanderHart, VM Prabhu, K Lavery, C Dennis, A Rao, and EK Lin, "Thin film solid-state NMR measurements using a synthetic mica substrate: polymer blends," Journal of Magnetic Resonance, 201(1), 100-110(2009).

26. WE Wallace, KM Flynn, CM Guttman, DL VanderHart, VM Prabhu, A De Silva, NM Felix, CK Ober, "Quantitative Measurement of the Polydispersity in the Extent of Functionalization of Two Glass Forming Resorcinarenes, Rapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry," 23(13), 1957(2009).

25. S Kang, V M Prabhu, C L Soles, EK Lin, W-L Wu, "Methodology for quantitative measurement of multilayer polymer thin films with IR spectroscopic ellipsometry," Macromolecules, 42(14), 5296 (2009).

24. J Kang, N Shin, DY Jang, VM Prabhu, DY Yoon, "Structure and Properties of Small Molecule-Polymer Blend Semiconductors for Organic Thin Film Transistors," Journal of the American Chemical Society, 130, 12273-12275(2008).

23. K A Lavery, VM Prabhu, EK Lin, W-L Wu, SK Satija, K-W Choi, M Wormington, "Lateral length scales of latent image roughness as determined by off-specular neutron reflectivity," Applied Physics Letters, 92(1), 064106(2008).

22. VM Prabhu, BD Vogt, S Kang, A Rao, EK Lin, SK Satija, "Direct measurement of the spatial extent of the in situ developed latent image by neutron reflectivity," Journal of Vacuum Science and Technology B, 25(6)2514-2520(2007).

21.S Kang, BD Vogt, W-L Wu, VM Prabhu, DL VanderHart, A Rao, EK Lin, and K Turnquest, "Characterization of compositional heterogeneity in chemically amplified photoresist polymer thin films with infrared spectroscopy," Macromolecules, 40,1497-1503(2007).

20. BD Vogt, S Kang, VM Prabhu, A Rao, EK Lin, W-L Wu, S K Satija, and K Turnquest, "Influence of base additives on the reaction diffusion front of model chemically amplified photoresists," Journal of Vacuum Science and Technology B, 25,175-182(2007).

19. VM Prabhu, S Sambasivan, D Fischer, LK Sundberg, and RD Allen, "Quantitative depth profiling of photoacid generators in photoresist materials by near-edge x-ray absorption fine structure spectroscopy," Applied Surface Science, 253(2), 1010-1014 (2006).

18. K Lavery, BD Vogt, VM Prabhu, K-W Choi, EK Lin, W-L Wu, S Satija, "Exposure dose effects on the reaction-diffusion process in model EUV photoresists," Journal of Vacuum Science and Technology B, 24, 3044-3048 (2006).

17. BD Vogt, S Kang, VM Prabhu, EK Lin, SK Satija, K Turnquest, and W-L Wu, "Measurements of the reaction-diffusion front of model chemically amplified photoresists with varying photoacid size," Macromolecules, 39, 8311-8317(2006).

16. A Rao, S Kang, BD Vogt, VM Prabhu, EK Lin, W-L Wu, and M Muthukumar, "Effect of Deprotection Extent on Swelling and Dissolution Regimes of Thin Polymer Films," Langmuir, 22, 10009-10015(2006).

15. S Kang, V M Prabhu, B D Vogt, EK Lin, W-L Wu, K Turnquest, "Copolymer fraction effect on acid catalyzed deprotection reaction kinetics in model 193 nm photoresists," Polymer, 47(18),6293-6302(2006).

14. BD Vogt, VM Prabhu, CL Soles, SK Satija, EK Lin, W-L Wu, "Control of moisture at buried polymer/alumina interfaces through substrate surface modification," Langmuir, 21(6), 2460-2464 (2005).

13. BD Vogt, HJ Lee, VM Prabhu, DM DeLongchamp, EK Lin, W-L Wu, SK Satija, "X-ray and neutron reflectivity measurements of moisture transport through model multilayered barrier films for flexible displays," Journal of Applied Physics, 97(11) 114509(2005).

12. BD Vogt, CL Soles, CY Wang, VM Prabhu, PM McGuiggan, JF Douglas, EK Lin, W-L Wu, SK Satija, DL Goldfarb, M Angelopoulos, "Water immersion of model photoresists: interfacial influences on water concentration and surface morphology," Journal of Microlithography Microfabrication and Microsystems, 4 (1) 013003(2005).

11. VM Prabhu, "Counterion structure and dynamics in polyelectrolyte solutions," Current Opinion in Colloid Interface Science, 10, 2-8 (2005)

10. VM Prabhu, BD Vogt, W-L Wu, JF Douglas, EK Lin, SK Satija, DL Goldfarb, H Ito, "Direct measurement of the counterion distribution within swollen polyelectrolyte films," Langmuir, 21(15), 6647-6651(2005).

9. N Noda, Y-H Lee, AJ Bur, VM Prabhu, CR Snyder, SC Roth, M McBrearty, "Dielectric properties of nylon 6/clay nanocomposites from on-line process monitoring and off-line measurements," Polymer, 46 (18), 7201-7217(2005).

8. VM Prabhu, D Bossev, N Rosov, and EJ Amis, "Counterion associative behavior with flexible polyelectrolytes," Journal of Chemical Physics, 121(9) 4424 (2004).

7. DL VanderHart, VM Prabhu, EK Lin, "Proton NMR determination of miscibility in a bulk model photoresist system: Poly(4-hydroxystyrene) and the photoacid generator, di(t-butylphenyl) iodonium perfluorooctane sulfonate," Chemistry of Materials, 16 (16), 3074-3084 (2004).

6. RL Jones, VM Prabhu, DL Goldfarb, EK Lin, CL Soles, JL Lenhart, W-L Wu, and M Angelopoulos, "Correlation of the reaction front with roughness in chemically amplified photoresists," ACS Symposium Series, Polymers for Microelectronics and Nanoelectronics, Oxford University Press, Washington DC, 874, 86-97(2004).

5. VM Prabhu, EK Lin, "Advanced Measurements for Photoresist Fundamentals," Semiconductor Fabtech International Quarterly, 24, 99-103 (2004).

4. EL Jablonski, VM Prabhu, S Sambasivan, EK Lin, DA Fischer, DL Goldfarb, M Angelopoulos, H Ito, "Near edge x-ray absorption fine structure measurements of surface segregation in 157 nm photoresist blends," Journal of Vacuum Science and Technology B, 21(6) 3162-3165(2003)

3. VM Prabhu, RL Jones, EK Lin, W-L Wu, "Polyelectrolyte Effects in Model Photoresist Developer Solutions," Journal of Vacuum Science and Technology B, 21, 1403-1410, (2003).

2. VM Prabhu, M Muthukumar, GD Wignall, YB Melnichenko, "Polyelectrolyte Chain Dimensions and Concentration Fluctuations near Phase Boundaries," Journal of Chemical Physics, 119,4085-4098 (2003).

1. VM Prabhu, M Muthukumar, GD Wignall, YB Melnichenko, "Dimensions of polyelectrolyte chains and concentration fluctuations in semi dilute solutions of sodium-poly(styrene sulfonate) as measured by small-angle neutron scattering," Polymer, 42, 8935-8946 (2001).



Chemical Engineer
Materials Science and Engineering
Polymers and Complex Fluids Group

Employment History:


Ph.D., Polymer Science and Engineering, University of Massachusetts-Amherst, 2001.

B.S., Chemical Engineering, Virginia Polytechnic Institute & S.U., 1996.

Phone: (301) 975-3657
Fax: (301) 975-3928