Michael Tsapatsis

Michael Tsapatsis

Contact Information
  • Engineering Diploma, The University of Patras, Greece, 1988
  • MS, Chemical Engineering, California Institute of Technology, 1992
  • Ph.D., Chemical Engineering, California Institute of Technology, 1994

Research Areas

Recent News:

Research Interests

We develop membranes and catalysts with tailored properties by combining synthetic chemistry, novel processing, and systematic characterization with careful evaluation of performance in challenging applications. Our publications focus on molecular sieve synthesis, crystal structure elucidation, pattern formation, morphology control, and incorporation in engineering devices. Our work is strengthened by substantial industrial interactions.


  • National Academy of Engineering (2015)
  • Breck Award (International Zeolite Association) (2013); Alpha Chi Sigma Award for Chemical Engineering Research, AIChE (2013)
  • American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Fellow (2011); George W. Taylor Award for Distinguished Research, Institute of Technology, UMN (2008); Charles M.A. Stine Award, Materials Engineering & Sciences Division of AIChE (2007);
  • Merck Sharp and Dohme Lectures, University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez (2006); Van Ness Lectures, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (2006); Robert W. Vaughan Lecture, California Institute of Technology (2006);
  • DB Robinson Distinguished Speaker, University of Alberta (2006); Stratis V Sotirchos Memorial Lecture (2005); G.C.A. Schuit Lecture, University of Delaware (2004)
  • National Center for Electron Microscopy/Department of Energy Fellow (1995); North American Membrane Society Fellowship (1993)
  • Outstanding Junior Faculty Award, College of Engineering, UMass-Amherst (1998); Camille Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award (1998); David and Lucile Packard Fellowship for Science and Engineering (1996); NSF CAREER Award (1996);

Selected Publications

  • Science 336, 1684-1687 (2012) (with Zhang X., Liu D., Xu D., Asahina S., Cychosz K., Varoon K., Al Wahedi Y., Bhan A., Al Hashimi S., Terasaki O. and Thommes M.) Direct Synthesis of Self-Pillared Zeolite Nanosheets by Repetitive Branching. DOI: 10.1126/science.1221111
  • Science 334, 767-768 (2011) Towards High-Throughput Zeolite Membranes
  • Journal of the American Chemical Society 133(32), 12391-12393 (2011) (with Chen H., Wydra J., Zhang X., Lee P.-S. and Fan W.) Hydrothermal Synthesis of Zeolites with Three-Dimensionally Ordered Mesoporous-imprinted (3DOm-i) Structure. DOI: 10.1021/ja2046815
  • Science 334, 72-75 (2011) (with Varoon K., Zhang X., Elyassi B., Brewer D., Gettel M., Kumar S., Lee J.A., Maheshwari S., Mittal A., Sung C.-Y., Cococcioni M., Francis L.F., McCormick A.V. and Mkhoyan A.) Dispersible Exfoliated Zeolite Nanosheets and Their Application as a Selective Membrane. DOI: 10.1126/science.1208891
  • Journal of the American Chemical Society 133(3), 493-502 (2011) (with Lee P.-S., Zhang X., Stoeger J.A., Malek A., Wei F., Sandeep K., Yoo W.C., Al Hashimi S., Penn R.L. and Stein A.) Sub-40 nm Zeolite Suspensions by Disassembly of Three-Dimensionally Ordered Mesoporous-Imprinted Silicalite-1. DOI: 10.1021/ja107942n
  • Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 50, 1617-1621 (2011) (with Fan W., Atchison N., Brewer D., Arunagirinathan M.A., Hering B.J., Kokkoli E., Kumar S. and Papas K.K.) Silica Nanoparticle Coatings by Adsorption from Lys-Sil Sols on Inorganic and Biological Surfaces. DOI: 10.1002/anie.201006231
  • Science 325(5940), 590-594 (2009) (with Choi J., Jeong H.K., Snyder M.A., Stoeger J.A. and Masel R.I.) Grain Boundary Defect Elimination in a Zeolite Membrane by Rapid Thermal Processing. DOI: 10.1126/science.1176095
  • Nature Materials 7(12), 984-991 (2008) (with Fan W., Snyder M.A., Kumar S., Lee P.S., Yoo W.C., McCormick A.V., Penn R.L. and Stein A.) Hierarchical Nanofabrication of Microporous Crystals with Ordered Mesoporosity. DOI:10.1038/nmat2302
  • Journal of the American Chemical Society 130, 1507-1516 (2008) (with Maheshwari S., Kumar S., Bates F.S., Penn R.L. and Shantz D.F.) Layer Structure Preservation during Swelling, Pillaring and Exfoliation of a Zeolite Precursor. DOI: 10.1021/ja077711i
  • Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 46, 7560-7573 (2007) (with Snyder M.) Hierarchical Nano-Manufacturing: From Shaped Zeolite Nanoparticles to High Performance Separation Membranes. DOI: 10.1002/anie.200604910
  • Nature Materials 5, 400-408 (2006) (with Davis T.M., Drews T.O., Ramanan H., He C., Dong J., Schnablegger H., Katsoulakis M., Kokkoli E., McCormick A.V. and Penn R. L.) Mechanistic Principles of Nanoparticle Evolution to Zeolite Crystals. DOI:10.1038/nmat1636
  • Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 45, 1154-1158 (2006) (with Choi J., Ghosh S. and Lai Z.) Uniformly a-Oriented MFI Films by Secondary Growth. DOI: 10.1002/anie.200503011
  • Science 300:(5618), 456-460 (2003) (with Lai Z., Bonilla G., Diaz I., Nery J.G., Sujaoti K., Amat M., Kokkoli E., Terasaki O., Thompson R. and Vlachos D.G.) Microstructural Optimization of a Zeolite Membrane for Organic Vapor Separation. (Appeared on the cover). DOI: 10.1126/science.1082169
  • Nature Materials 2:(1), 53-58 (2003) (with Jeong H.K., Nair S., Vogt T. and Dickinson L.C.) A Highly Crystalline Layered Silicate with Three-Dimensionally Microporous Layers. DOI:10.1038/nmat795
  • Nature 412, 720-724 (2001) (with Kuznicki S. M., Bell V.A., Nair S., Hillhouse H.W., Jacubinas R.M., Braunbarth C.M. and Toby B.) A Titanosilicate Molecular Sieve with Tunable Pores and its Use in Gas Separations. DOI:10.1038/35089052
  • AIChE Journal, 42(11), 3020-3029 (1996) (with Lovallo M.C.) Preferentially Oriented Submicron Silicalite Membranes. DOI: 10.1002/aic.690421104
  • Nature 381, 295-298 (1996) (with Freyhardt C., Lobo R.F., Balkus K.J. Jr. and Davis M.E.) A High Silica Zeolite with a 14-tetrahedral-atom Pore Opening.

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