Welcometo the Tsapatsis Research Group Website


Michael Tsapatsis


445 Amundson Hall

421 Washington Ave SE

Minneapolis, MN 55455


(612) 626-0920 [tel]

(612) 626-7246 [fax]



curriculum vitae

Angewandte author profile

Professor Tsapatsis's research group is housed in the department of Chemical Engineering & Materials Science at the University of Minnesota in the Twin Cities. The focus of our work is in demonstrating innovative processing strategies for engineering functional devices and microstructures. Our recent 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. Take a closer look at our research.

Elizabeth defence.jpg Langmuir Cover.png Group photo 2010.jpg Xueyi farewell.jpg AFM Cover.png Nicole defence.JPG Group photo 2011.jpg Science Cover.png

Group photo, March 2016.Mar 2016

Group photo, March 2016

Congratulations Dr. Khaleel!Jan 2016

Maryam Khaleel defended her PhD thesis on December 18, 2015. Her research addressed fundamental crystal growth phenomena of zeolite nanocrystals and intergrown zeolite nanosheets using high resolution electron microscopy, cryogenic electron microscopy and x-ray diffraction and small angle scattering. Dr. Khaleel will join the Petroleum Institute of Abu Dhabi, UAE. Congratulations Dr. Khaleel!

Maryam's defence

Thinner than 100 nmApr 2015

Two publications [Advanced Materials (DOI: 10.1002/adma.201405893) and Angewandte Chemie (DOI: 10.1002/ange.201411791)] report the use of 2D zeolites to form the thinnest zeolite films ever reported on porous and non porous supports.

Tsapatsis elected to the National Academy of Engineering on February 6 2015Apr 2015

Read more here

Congratulations Dr. Yasser Al Wahedi!Jan 2015

Congratulations to Yasser Al Wahedi for completing his PhD. His thesis focus was on novel materials and processes for hydrogen sulfide removal from tail gas, a problem of great environmental significance. Dr. Al Wahedi will join the Petroleum Institute of Abu Dhabi, UAE. Dr. Al Wahedi was advised by Professors M. Tsapatsis, P. Daoutidis and S. Al Hashimi (Petroleum Institute).

Congratulations Dr. Garrett Swindlehurst!Sep 2014

Congratulations to Dr Garrett Swindlehurst who defended his PhD thesis. He was co-advised by Professor Efie Kokkoli and Professor Klearchos Papas. He is on his way to a job at Praxair.

Congratulations Dr. Ana Torres and Dr. Berna Topuz!Dec 2013

Congratulations to Dr Ana Torres who defended her PhD thesis. She was co-advised by Professor Daoutidis and she is on her way to Boston for a postoctoral study with Professor George Stephanopoulos.

Congratulations to Dr Berna Topuz who after spending two years in our group as a Tübitak scholar and postdoctoral fellow, she is joining Ankara University as an Assistant Professor.

Kumar Varoon Agrawal and Xueyi Zhang defended their PhD thesesOct 2013

Kumar will stay with us until next spring as a postdoctoral fellow to continue his work on zeolite membranes while Xueyi is on his way to a faculty position at Penn State through UC Berkeley (postdoctoral fellow with Professor Enrique Iglesia).

Professor Gies completes his stay as George T. Piercy Distinguished Visiting Professor for 2013Oct 2013

Since last August, Professor Hermann Gies presented lectures at our group meetings and at the CEMS department and interacted with several group members on ongoing projects. We thank him for visiting CEMS and our group, for generously giving us his valuable advise and we look forward to continued interactions.

Professor Michael Tsapatsis receives the 2013 Breck Award from the International Zeolite AssociationSep 2013

Professor Michael Tsapatsis of CEMS and Jurgen Caro, professor of physical chemistry at Leibniz University received the 2013 Breck Award from the International Zeolite Association (IZA) for their pioneering work on the processing of zeolite and MOF nanostructures enabling separation membranes. Caro and Tsapatsis were presented with the prize at the Moscow International Zeolite Conference in July, in front of approximately one thousand conference participants. Established in 1983, the Breck Award is named for Donald W. Breck of the Union Carbide Corporation who was a major figure in the early development of synthetic molecular sieves and one of the founders of the IZA. During this meeting Tsapatsis was elected as IZA council member.
Related: http://www.iza-online.org/

Professor Michael Tsapatsis receives the 2013 AIChE Alpha Chi Sigma Award for Chemical Engineering ResearchSep 2013

The Institute Award recognizes outstanding accomplishments in fundamental or applied chemical engineering research. Tsapatsis is recognized for breakthrough contributions in the design, synthesis and applications of molecular sieve membranes, adsorbents and hierarchical catalysts. He will be presented with the award at the Institute Honor's Ceremony, held during the AIChE's 2013 Annual Meeting in San Francisco, California in November. Prior winners from the department include Rutherford Aris (1969) and Lanny Schmidt (1993).
Related: http://www.aiche.org/community/awards/alpha-chi-sigma-award-chemical-engineering-research

Kumar Varoon Agrawal receives the 2013 AIChE Separations Division Graduate Student Research Award.Aug 2013

This is a highly competitive award with a global request for nominations. The award will be presented at the Separations Division's Awards Dinner on November 4, 2013 at the AIChE Annual Meeting in San Francisco, CA.

Welcome new students!Nov 2012

The Tsapatsis group welcomes new graduate students Yasmine Guefrachi, Prashant Kumar, Nitish Mittal, Mansi Shah, Meera Shete and Wanlu Zhang.

Congratulations Dr. Mallon and Dr. AtchisonNov 2012

Elizabeth Mallon and Nicole Atchison successfully defended their Ph.D. theses.

CEMS catalyst synthesis highlighted by the Department of EnergyAug 2012

The discovery of a new method to fabricate hierarchical zeolite catalysts (first made by graduate student Xueyi Zhang), which was recently reported by a CEMS team and collaborators, is highlighted by the US Department of Energy among Stories of Discovery and Innovation The work, which was reported in the journal Science¸ was supported by the Catalysis Center for Energy Innovation, a DOE Office of Science Energy Frontier Research Center (EFRC) led by the University of Delaware, in which U of M is a major partner, the Abu Dhabi–Minnesota Institute for Research Excellence, the National Science Foundation, and the University of Minnesota Initiative for Renewable Energy and the Environment. Zhang, X, et al. "Synthesis of self-pillared zeolite nanosheets by repetitive branching." 2012. Science 336: 1684-1687. DOI: 1-.1126/science.1221111 Other comments for this work can be found here.
Read More

Kumar Varoon Agrawal Participates in DOE Workshop on MembranesAug 2012

DOE workshop on membrane focused on industrialization of membrane technology. DOE believes that inorganic and inorganic/polymer hybrid membrane has the best chances of success for industrialization. Kumar Varoon discussed the success story of thin nanosheet membrane which has a lot of potential for commercialization. He and many other from industry, national labs and academia brainstormed on the barriers to commercialization and possible actions to circumvent those barriers.

Xueyi Zhang presents talks on self-pillared zeolite nanosheets in China and JapanAug 2012

Xueyi Zhang presented seminars on “Synthesis of Self-Pillared Zeolite Nanosheets by Repetitive Branching” (Science 2012, 336, 1684) at Tsinghua University (Beijing, China), China University of Petroleum (Beijing, China), and the International Symposium on Zeolites and Microporous Crystals (ZMPC) 2012 (Hiroshima, Japan). The paper is freely available through the publication page.

U helps develop catalyst that may lower gas pricesJul 2012

Nanosheets — thin layers of silicon the size of a molecule — stacked like a house of cards could be the cure for rising gas prices. Read more...

Belated welcome to Cory Thomas, Zheyu Jiang, Kevin Nguenkam, Wey Yi Foo and Keoni SannyJun 2012

During the spring semester and summer, Tsapatsis group was bolstered by undergraduate students. Cory Thomas, Zheyu Jiang, Kevin Nguenkam, Wey Yi Foo and Keoni Sanny are working on developing high performance nanosheet membranes, characterizing membrane stability and catalysis for producing biofuel.

Belated welcome to Dr. Berna TopuzJun 2012

Dr. Berna Topuz joined Tsapatsis group as a postdoctoral associate after finishing her phD in chemical engineering from Izmir Institute of Technology in Turkey. Her work in Tsapatsis group focuses on high performance nanosheet membrane.

Congratulations Dr. StoegerApr 2012

Jared Stoeger successfully defended his PhD thesis on the preparation, characterization, and processing of oriented polycrystalline zeolite and aluminophosphate membranes. He will be joining Intel Corporation as a Process Technology Development Engineer.

Congratulations Dr. LeeJan 2012

Pyungsoo Lee defended his PhD thesis and will join Oak Ridge National laboratory as a postdoctoral fellow working on membrane technologies. During his PhD, Dr. Lee designed a high performance zeolite membrane using sub-40 nm zeolite suspensions.

Congratulations Prof. LiuJan 2012

Dongxia starts her academic career as an Assistant Professor at the University of Maryland. Click here to visit her homepage.

Breakthrough of the YearJan 2012

Zeolites were runner up for breakthrough of the year by Science journal. Nanosheet paper was among the four cited papers in this field.

Professor Tsapatsis is elected Fellow of the AAASJan 2012

Professor Tsapatsis is elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) by the AAAS Council. Each year the Council elects members whose "efforts on behalf of the advancement of science or its applications are scientifically or socially distinguished."

Welcome, New Graduate Students!Nov 2011

Maryam Khaleel, Neel Rangnekar, Dandan Xu and Han Zhang join Tsapatsis group starting November 2011. A very warm welcome to them. See their profiles for more information about them.

Nanosheet Article in Science Now Freely AvailableOct 2011

The article "Dispersible Exfoliated Zeolite Nanosheets and Their Application as a Selective Membrane" published in Science magazine is now freely available through the Featured Articles in the publication page.

Zeolite nanosheet featured on local TV newsOct 2011

Benefits of zeolite nanosheets and its membrane was featured in the local TV news (KSTP TV, channel 5). Visit news page to see the video.

Smoothing Out Zeolite Nanosheet SynthesisOct 2011

US scientists have overcome a significant hurdle in the production of zeolite nanosheets, which should make these versatile materials simpler to synthesise. Zeolites nanosheets could potentially be used for a wide range of applications such as sieves that can separate molecules based on their size and catalytic membranes. Read more...

Congratulations Dr. Brewer!Aug 2011

Damien Brewer recently graduated from the group. He was co-advised by Professor Satish Kumar. Dr. Brewer was studying convective assembly of nanoparticles to form uniform, well packed structures. At the start of his studies, he was co-advised by Professor L.E. (Skip) Scriven.

Zeolites with Hierarchical Pore Structure by Hydrothermal SynthesisAug 2011

Zeolites with hierarchical pore structure is desirable for molecular traffic control for improved catalysis and separations. It is now achieved by the conventional hydrothermal synthesis as reported by Chen et al. in the Journal of the American Chemical Society.

Introducing Sub-40 nm Zeolite Nanoparticle SuspensionAug 2011

In the "Journal of the American Chemical Society", Lee et al. report the synthesis and characterization of sub-40 nm MFI nanoparticle suspensions and demonstrated its utility as a high performance zeolite membrane. Read more at ACS online

Congratulations Dr. Lee, Dr. Kumar and Dr. RanjanOct 2010

Alex J. Lee, Sandeep Kumar and Rajiv Ranjan recently graduated from our group. Dr. Lee was studying convective assembly of nanoparticles to form uniform, well packed structures. Apart from academics, he conceptualized and designed this webpage. Dr. Kumar, co-advised by Professor Lee Penn, was investigating the growth mechanism of zeolites. Dr. Ranjan was studying the fabrication of metal organic framework membranes and adsorbtion & separation of biofuels.

RTP Article in "Science" freely availableAug 2009

The article "Grain Boundary Defect Elimination in a Zeolite Membrane by Rapid Thermal Processing" published in Science magazine is now freely available through the publications page.

Membrane Breaks Through Performance BarrierJul 2009

Engineers have developed a new method for creating high-performance membranes from crystal sieves called zeolites; the method could increase the energy efficiency of chemical separations up to 50 times over conventional methods and enable higher production rates read more...

Prof. Tsapatsis receives George W. Taylor AwardJun 2008

Professor Tsapatsis received the George W. Taylor Award for 2008, granted by the University of Minnesota Institute of Technology. The award was established in 1982 to recognize younger faculty members who have shown outstanding ability in research.

Prof. Tsapatsis receives Stine AwardNov 2007

Professor Tsapatsis was awarded the Charles M. A. Stine Award, which is bestowed annually to a leading researcher in recognition of outstanding contributions to the field of materials science and engineering. The Stine Award is sponsored by E.I. duPont de Nemours & Co.

On the cover of LangmuirSep 2007

"Silica Nanoparticle Crystals and Ordered Coatings Using Lys-Sil and a Novel Coating Device" appears in Langmuir, The ACS Journal of Surfaces and Colloids 23(20) (see publications) featuring cover art submitted by the authors. Whether or not by accident, the cover's main colors are maroon and gold--our school colors! (click on image to enlarge)

Crystal Sieves, Born AnewApr 2006

In NSF news "...Now, however, a team of chemists, engineers and mathematicians, using some of the most advanced microscopes in the research arsenal, has uncovered new details for the step-by-step evolution from molecular soup to carefully engineered zeolite crystal..." read more!

Sowing The Seeds Of Oriented FilmsFeb 2006

In Chemical & Engineering News, "...Zeolite films in particular hold promise for practical applications, but their fabrication imposes challenges, including control of thickness, grain size, and pore orientation," says Michael Tsapatsis, professor of chemical engineering and materials science at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities..." read more!

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