Michael Tsapatsis is a chemical engineer and material scientists widely known for his research demonstrating innovative processing strategies for engineering functional devices and microstructures. He creates molecular sieve membranes and catalysts to improve industrial efficiency and reduce waste and pollution.
Tsapatsis’ research group is designing, synthesizing, and testing materials that will make industrial production of chemicals both cleaner and more energy efficient while remaining low-cost and reliable to meet a chemical plant’s production needs when brought to scale. The group is also targeting the development of new chemical pathways, including those for the production of chemicals from renewable sources. Tsapatsis is well-recognized for his wide-ranging research in the synthesis of zeolite nanosheets—extremely thin filter material with pores that are 100,000 times smaller than a human hair that can separate molecules based on small differences in size and shape with unprecedented selectivity and flux. This can be used, for instance, to selectively trap and remove pollutants. He is currently exploring new applications for porous materials beyond those in the chemical industry.
Tsapatsis joined Johns Hopkins University as a Bloomberg Distinguished Professor in 2018 from the University of Minnesota.