John Tsavalas

Phone: (603) 862-2293
Office: Chemistry, Parsons Hall Rm N217, Durham, NH 03824
John Tsavalas

John Tsavalas is a Polymer Scientist with particular emphasis in polymer colloids (nanoparticles synthesized from polymers). He is an Associate Professor in Chemistry and also a member of the Materials Science Program. He is the Director of the UNH Latex Morphology Industrial Consortium and the Deputy Director of the Center for Advanced Materials & Manufacturing Innovations (CAMMI). For the month of June 2012, he was a Visiting Professor of Polymer Chemistry at Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1, in the LCPP group, invited by Professors Timothy McKenna and Bernadette Charleux. 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, and he was most recently the chair of the Polymer Reaction Engineering Conference in May 2018 (as well as the co-chair in 2015). Prior to joining University of New Hampshire, he was a Senior Research Scientist at The Dow Chemical Company 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 in Atlanta, USA

Research Interests

• Control of colloidal morphology in polymeric nanoparticle synthesis (encapsulation, multi-component structured latex, hollow latex, hybrid (alkyd/acrylic, PU/acrylic) latex, 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


  • 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

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
  • CHEM/MS 795/917/910: Spc Tp/Macromolec Characteriza
  • INCO 590: Student Research Experience

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