The Muthu Polymer Group is a part of the Department of Polymer Science & Engineering at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, located in the Silvio O. Conte National Center for Polymer Research. A wide variety of synthesis, manufacturing, and characterization techniques are readily available through shared department equipment in order to explore various fields of polymer physics, chemistry and engineering. These include atomic force microscopy, x-ray scattering, NMR, light scattering, electron microscopy, rheometry, nanofabrication, and process engineering.

Department of Polymer Science and Engineering
University of Massachusetts Amherst
Silvio O. Conte National Center for Polymer Research
120 Governors Drive
Amherst, MA 01003

Resources owned by the Muthu Polymer Group are detailed below.

Polymer Computation Center

The Polymer Computation Center is at the forefront of computing technology. The core of the facility is composed of
  1. Three clusters, amassing a maximum computation rate of 3 TFLOPS for CPUs and 20 TFLOPS for GPUs
    • One GPU cluster with 192 AMD Opteron cores, eight Nvidia TITAN GPUS and one Nvidia TESLA GPU
    • One beowulf cluster with 104 Intel Xeon cores
    • One beowulf cluster with 37 AMD Opteron cores
  2. Secure data storage and backup resources capable of managing 7 TB of scientific results
  3. Ten integrated front-end workstations
  4. Dedicated web server, email server, and printing facilities

Polymer Translocation Physics Laboratory

The laboratory consists of two electrophysiology instruments for polymer translocation measurements, each including Axopatch patch-clamp amplifier, Axon data acquisition system, TMC vibration isolation table, a Faraday cage and a temperature control system. The ionic current through a nanopore can be measured to a sub-pA resolution, allowing the identification of individual polymer translocation events. Two types of pore/membrane systems are routinely studied: α-hemolysin protein pore with artificial lipid bilayer membrane, and solid state nanopore on silicon nitride membrane.

Polarized Optical Microscopy Laboratory

Leica DM 2700P

Leica DFC 450

Small-Angle Light Scattering Laboratory

The Small-Angle-Light Scattering (SALS) Laboratory consists of instrumentation necessary to measure the intensity of scattered light from a sample at various angles. Incident light is generated from a 632.8 nm 30 mW He-Ne laser, and the intensity of the scattered light profile is recorded using a charge coupled device camera. A scattering vector q range corresponding to sizes from 0.2 μm to 2 μm is achievable. Simultaneous turbidity measurements are possible through the use of a photodiode. Two polarizers are installed to enable H-V and V-V measurements.

Cell Culture Laboratory

Cell culture capabilities include expression and purification of proteins as well as modification and amplification of DNA using PCR techniques.