Michael E. Mullins

Michael E. Mullins


Professor, Chemical Engineering

  • PhD, University of Rochester


Ceramics, fine particles, and engineered nanostructures

In the area of ceramics and particle technology, we are learning to make novel nanoscale structures for use as electrodes, catalysts, biomaterials, and membranes. Specific current research includes the development of polymer/inorganic nanofibers for tissue scaffolds, electrosynthesis of new hybrid materials, porous carbon electrodes for battery and fuel cell applications, the development of zeolite membranes for gas phase separations and reactions, the production of nanometer scale polymer/ceramic particles, and the synthesis of polymer inorganic nanocomposites for biomedical, electronic and photonic applications.

The treatment of ceramic, polymer, and particulate surfaces fits into the mix of new technologies for these advanced materials. We employ sol-gel, vapor, and plasma techniques to modify surfaces to achieve the desired catalytic, electronic, or physical properties. Our group uses a variety of spectroscopic techniques including FTIR, Raman, electrochemistry, and X-ray analysis to characterize the chemistry and structure of the materials. For physical analysis we employ electron microscopy, thermal analysis, gas adsorption, and cyclic voltametry among other methods.

Environmental thermodynamics and kinetics 

An understanding of the partitioning and reaction of contaminants in the environment is crucial to the design of clean industrial processes and for fate assessment studies. Whether these contaminants end up in groundwater soil air or even in Composites Formed by Self Propagating Kinetics for the Synthesis of Multicomponent Glass Materials", Journal of Solthese contaminants end up in groundwater, soil, air, or even in humans is a function of their thermodynamic behavior in each of these compartments. Since most environmental contaminants are dilute, we have spent the past decade studying dilute solution thermodynamics and partitioning experimentally and theoretically. We are currently involved in measuring vapor-liquid equilibria for mixed solvent/electrolyte systems, and developing models to predict the behavior of such systems.

Research Interests

  • Environmental kinetics and thermodynamics
  • Engineered nanostructures


  • M. E. Mullins, T. N. Rogers, and A. Loll. "Estimation of Henry’s Constants for Aqueous Systems at Elevated Temperatures", Fluid Phase Equilibria, 150, 245 (1998).
  • KenHeng See, Michael E. Mullins, and Patricia A. Heiden. “A Reactive Core-Shell Nanoparticle Approach to Prepare Hybrid Nanocomposites: Effects of processing variables.” Nanotechnology 16, (9), 1950-1959 (2005)
  • Bovornlak Oonkhanond and M.E. Mullins, “Electrical double-layer effects on the deposition of zeolite A on surfaces.” Journal of Colloid and Interface Science 284, 210- 215 (2005)
  • Bovornlak Oonkhanond and M.E. Mullins, "The Preparation and analysis of zeolite ZSM-5 membranes on porous alumina supports." Journal of Membrane Science 194, 3-13 (2001).
  • Y. Choi, J. K. Lee, and M.E. Mullins. "Densification Process of TiCx-Ni Composites Formed by Self-Propagating High-Temperature Synthesis Reaction", Journal of Material Science, 32, 1717 (1997).
  • A. A. Kline, T.N. Rogers, M.E. Mullins, B.C. Cornilsen, and Lj. M. Sokolov, "Sol-Gel Kinetics for the Synthesis of Multicomponent Glass Materials", Journal of Sol- Gel Science and Technology 2, 269-272 (1994)