Richard Mu

Research Professor & Associate Director for Research
TIGER Institute

Dr. Richard Mu currently holds the position of Research Professor at the TSU Interdisciplinary Graduate Engineering Research (TIGER) Institute, Tennessee State University. He completed his M.S. and Ph.D. in Condensed Matter Physics at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale (SIU-C) in 1987 and 1992, respectively, and earned his B.S. in Physics from Northeastern Normal University in Changchun, China, in 1982. Dr. Mu specializes in materials physics, focusing on nano- and meso-scale functional materials. His areas of expertise include: i) targeted drug release and delivery systems, ii) innovative approaches to energy conversion, transport, and storage, iii) smart sensory and skin electronics, and iv) optoelectronic and quantum nanostructures, such as 2D, 1D, and 0D materials, along with their interfaces and heterojunctions.

Dr. Mu has established a wide-ranging network of regional, national, and international research partnerships and collaborations. He is the Director of the TSU-Fisk-University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign I-MRSEC Partnership for Research and Education in Materials (PREM). Beside he has a very dynamic research team at the TIGER Institute, his role as the Associate Director for Research is primarily responsible for establishing and fostering multidisciplinary research collaborations, particularly in the realms of advanced materials research and manufacturing.

Beyond his duties on campus, Dr. Mu is actively involved in several professional organizations. Examples include: He has been a member of the External Advisory Board at the Center for Manufacturing Research, Tennessee Technology University since 2018. Additionally, he is a committee member for the 5th International Conference on Advanced Functional Materials, scheduled for 2024 in London, UK.


Office: 245, 2nd Floor, RSP Building
Phone: 615-963-5524


  • Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, M.S. and Ph.D. Aug 1987 and 1992
  • Northeastern Normal University, Changchun, China, B.S. 1982

Employment History:

  • Associate Director, TIGER Institute, Tennessee State University, August 2020-current
  • Thrust Leader, Advanced Materials and Manufacturing, TIGER Institute, Tennessee State University, August 2020-current
  • Research Professor, TIGER Institute, Tennessee State University, January 2016 - current
  • Associate Director, Advanced Materials Research Initiative, TIGER Institute, Tennessee State University, January 2016 – July 2020
  • Professor and Associate Director for Research, NSF CREST Center for Physics and Chemistry of Materials, Fisk University, August 2008 – December 2015
  • Associate Professor: Department of Physics, Fisk University, August 2004 – July 2008
  • Research Associate Professor: Department of Physics, Fisk University, August 2002 – July 2004

Research Interest:

  • Functional Biomaterials for Drug Release and Delivery in Nanostructured Materials: Enhance and refine the Electrohydrodynamic (EHD) deposition technique to produce advanced microparticles. These microparticles are designed for targeted, controlled drug delivery systems with specific focus on target selective, time- and rate-controlled drug release.
  • 1- and 2-Dimensional Nanostructured Multifunctional Materials: Employ a bottom-up approach to develop multifunctional materials. This involves transitioning from a Structure-by-Design to a Function-by-Design methodology. The focus is on creating materials for applications in sensors, energy conversion (including photovoltaics and energy harvesters), high-efficiency electrical/thermal conductors, optoelectronics, and quantum computing materials.
  • Establishment of a Materials Science Program: Aligning with the College of Engineering's vision, substantial efforts are being directed towards the implementation, development, and expansion of materials research infrastructure and capabilities. This initiative encompasses faculty, postdoctoral researchers, graduate, and undergraduate students. Material research is positioned as one of the three foundational pillars of the program. The long-term goal includes expanding the focus from graduate to undergraduate degrees, further enhancing the breadth and depth of the program.

Example of Publications (Total Over 200):

  • F.T. Zahra, Q. Quick, and R. Mu, “Electrospun PVA Fibers for Drug Delivery: A Review”, Polymers, 15 (18) 3837 (2023)
  • Anto Pradeep Raja Charles, Richard Mu, Tony Z. Jin, Deyu Li, Zhiliang Pan, Sudipta Rakshit, Steve W. Cui, Ying Wu, “Application of Yellow Mustard Mucilage and Starch in Nanoencapsulation of Thymol and Carvacrol by Emulsion Electrospray” Carbohydrate Polymers 298, 120148 (2022).
  • A. Joaquim, O. Paul, M. Ibezim, D. Johnson, A. Falconer, Y. Wu, F. Williams, and R. Mu, “Electrospray Deposition of Polyvinylidene Fluoride (PVDF) Microparticles: Impact of Solvents and Flow Rate”, Polymers 14 (13), 2702 (2022).
  • Anto Pradeep Raja Charles, Tony Z. Jin, Richard Mu, and Ying Wu, “Electrohydrodynamic processing of natural polymers for active food packaging: A comprehensive review”, Comprehensive Reviews in Food Science and Food Safety, 1–30 (2021).
  • Andrew L. Cook; logoa, Christopher. P. Haycooka, Andrea K. Locke logoa, Richard R. Mu and Todd D. Giorgio, “Optimization of Electron Beam-Deposited Silver Nanoparticles on Zinc Oxide for Maximally Surface Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy”, Nanoscale Advances, 3, 407–417 (2021)
  • Yin Zhang, Xin Zhang, Lin Yang, Qian Zhang, Matthew Fitzgerald, Akira Ueda, Yunfei Chen, Richard Mu, Deyu Li, Leon M Bellan, “Thermal transport in electrospun vinyl polymer nanofibers: effects of molecular weight and side groups”, Soft Matter, 14, 9534-41, (2019
  • William F. Paxton, Mesut Yilmaz, Anthony Mayo, John Kozub, Mick Howell, Justin Gregory, James E. Butler, Weng Poo Kang, Richard Mu, Jimmy L. Davidson,and Norman H. Tolk, “Low temperature diamond growth arising from ultrafast pulsed-laser pretreatment” Halina Krzyżanowsk, Carbon, 131, 120 (2018).
  • Claire E Marvinney, Xiao Shen, James R McBride, Dominic Critchlow, Zhineng Li, Daniel C. Mayo, Richard R Mu, Sokrates T Pantelides, Richard F Haglund, “Effect of Material Structure on Photoluminescence of ZnO/MgO Core-Shell Nanowires”, ChemNanoMat, 4(3) 291-300 (2018)
  • Jian Ma, Qian Zhang, Anthony Mayo, Zhonghua Ni, Hong Yi, Yunfei Chen, Richard Mu, Leon Bellan, and Deyu Li, “Thermal Conductivity of Electrospun Polyethylene Nanofibers”, Nanoscale 7 (40), 16899-16908 (2015)
  • L. Yang, J. Ho, E. Allahyarov, R. Mu, L. Zhu, “Semicrystalline Structure–Dielectric Property Relationship and Electrical Conduction in a Biaxially Oriented Poly (vinylidene fluoride) Film under High Electric Fields and High Temperatures”, ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces, 7 (36), 19894-19905 (2015)


webpage contact:
Civil Engineering