John Tsavalas

John Tsavalas

Phone: (603) 862-2293
Office: Chemistry, Parsons Hall Rm N217, Durham, NH 03824
Pronouns: He/him/his

John Tsavalas is a Polymer Scientist & Polymer Reaction Engineer with particular emphasis in Polymer Colloids (nanoparticles synthesized from polymers). He is an Associate Professor in Chemistry and an Affiliate Associate Professor in Chemical Engineering and Bioengineering. He is the Director of the UNH Latex Morphology Industrial Consortium and the Deputy Director of the Center for Advanced Materials & Manufacturing Innovations (CAMMI) as well as co-PI in the NH BioMade research center. He has been a visiting professor at ETH Zürich, Switzerland (2019), University of Lyon, France (2012), and had a sabbatical at the University of the Basque Country, Spain (in Fall of 2023). He was most recently the chair of the 2018 Polymer Reaction Engineering conference, where in both 2011 and 2015 he was the organizer of the International Polymer Colloids Group Conference (those two times held on the campus of UNH). Prior to joining University of New Hampshire, he was a Senior Research Scientist at The Dow Chemical Company (Michigan USA and Horgen, Switzerland) where he worked on a wide variety of polymer colloid related R&D with particular emphasis on nanostructured latex particles. Before that, he was a Visiting Scholar in Polymer Chemistry at Eindhoven Technical University in The Netherlands just following his PhD in Chemical Engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology (2001) in Atlanta, Georgia USA.

Research Interests

• Control of colloidal morphology in polymeric nanoparticle synthesis (encapsulation, multi-component structured particles, hollow particles, non-spherical particles, etc.)
• Colloids derived from sustainable starting materials
• Clustering and assembly of particulate systems
• Molecular and macromolecular architecture control by living free-radical polymerization
• Dynamic modeling of colloidal interactions, film formation, & evolution of multi-phase morphology
• Dynamic modeling of reaction kinetics, macromolecular architecture development, phase separation, and particle morphology development for colloidal synthesis
• Hydroplasticization of copolymers and impact on diffusion, phase separation, and viscoelastic properties
• Distribution of water within polymer colloids

Courses Taught

  • CHEM 404/404H: General Chemistry II
  • CHEM 685: Physical Chemistry Laboratory
  • CHEM 686: Physical Chemistry Laboratory
  • CHEM 795/918: SpcTop/Molecular Character.
  • CHEM 802: Critical and Creative Thinking
  • CHEM 803: Creative Thinking Chem
  • INCO 590: Student Research Experience


  • Ph.D., Chemical Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology
  • M.S., Chemical Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology
  • B.S., Chemical Engineering, University of Virginia

Research Interests

  • 3D Printing / Additive Manufacturing
  • Chemical Engineering
  • Chemical Reactions
  • Colloid Chemistry
  • Polymer Science

Selected Publications

  • Jiang, B., Tsavalas, J. G., & Sundberg, D. C. (2018). Morphology control in surfactant free polyurethane/acrylic hybrid latices - The special role of hydrogen bonding. POLYMER, 139, 107-122. doi:10.1016/j.polymer.2018.01.054

  • Jiang, B., Tsavalas, J. G., & Sundberg, D. C. (2017). Water whitening of polymer films: Mechanistic studies and comparisons between water and solvent borne films. PROGRESS IN ORGANIC COATINGS, 105, 56-66. doi:10.1016/j.porgcoat.2016.12.027

  • Tripathi, A. K., Neenan, M. L., Sundberg, D. C., & Tsavalas, J. G. (2016). Influence of n-alkyl ester groups on efficiency of crosslinking for methacrylate monomers copolymerized with EGDMA: Experiments and Monte Carlo simulations of reaction kinetics and sol-gel structure. POLYMER, 96, 130-145. doi:10.1016/j.polymer.2016.04.017

  • Tripathi, A. K., Tsavalas, J. G., & Sundberg, D. C. (2013). Quantitative measurements of the extent of phase separation during and after polymerization in polymer composites using DSC. THERMOCHIMICA ACTA, 568, 20-30. doi:10.1016/j.tca.2013.06.013

  • Tsavalas, J. G., & Sundberg, D. C. (2010). Hydroplasticization of Polymers: Model Predictions and Application to Emulsion Polymers. LANGMUIR, 26(10), 6960-6966. doi:10.1021/la904211e

  • Luo, Y. W., Tsavalas, J., & Schork, F. J. (2001). Theoretical aspects of particle swelling in living free radical miniemulsion polymerization. MACROMOLECULES, 34(16), 5501-5507. doi:10.1021/ma0020741

  • Tsavalas, J. G., Schork, F. J., de Brouwer, H., & Monteiro, M. J. (2001). Living radical polymerization by reversible addition-fragmentation chain transfer in ionically stabilized miniemulsions. MACROMOLECULES, 34(12), 3938-3946. doi:10.1021/ma001888e

  • de Brouwer, H., Tsavalas, J. G., Schork, F. J., & Monteiro, M. J. (2000). Living radical polymerization in miniemulsion using reversible addition-fragmentation chain transfer. MACROMOLECULES, 33(25), 9239-9246. doi:10.1021/ma001205v