faculty member xiaoli ma

Xiaoli Ma

  • Assistant Professor, Materials Science and Engineering

Xiaoli Ma joined UWM after his postdoctoral work at University of Minnesota in the Department of Chemical Engineering & Materials Science. He obtained his Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering at Arizona State University. His research focuses on the design and development of advanced materials for use in separation, purification and sensor technologies. His group is mostly interested in polymers, porous materials (metal-organic frameworks, zeolites, carbons, mesoporous materials, etc.), nanocomposites, and their incorporation into functional devices. They currently aim to develop robust adsorbents and membranes with improved performances for water purification and gas separation, and study the fundamental structure-property relationships in these systems. They also explore the novel materials and methodologies developed in their group for coating, thin films and other challenging applications.

Dr. Ma welcomes undergraduate, masters and doctoral students to join his research group. For more information, please email him at ma26@uwm.edu.


  • PhD, Materials Science and Engineering, Arizona State University, 2015
  • MS, Materials Science and Engineering, Tongji University, China, 2009
  • BS, Materials Science and Engineering, Tongji University, China, 2006

Research Interests

  • Metal-organic frameworks, zeolites, carbons, and other porous materials
  • Polymers and polymer-based nanocomposite materials
  • Membranes: design, fabrication and characterization
  • Water purification, gas separation and liquid separation by membranes and adsorbents
  • Vapor phase processing techniques, such as atomic layer deposition

Journal Publications

Google Scholar link

  • X. L. Ma, P. Kumar, N. Mittal, A. Khlyustova, P. Daoutidis, K. A. Mkhoyan, M. Tsapatsis, Zeolitic imidazolate framework membranes made by ligand-induced permselectivation, Science, 2018, 361, 1008-1011.
  • X. L. Ma, X. T. Wei, J. Kniep, Y. S. Lin, Ultra-thin carbon molecular sieve membrane for propylene/propane separation, AIChE Journal, 2016, 62, 491–499.
  • X. L. Ma, X. T. Wei, J. Kniep, Y. S. Lin, Propylene/propane mixture separation characteristics and stability of carbon molecular sieve membranes, Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research, 2015, 54, 9824-9831.
  • X. L. Ma, H. Wang, H. B. Wang, J. O’Brien-Abrahama, Y. S. Lin, Pore structure characterization of supported polycrystalline zeolite membranes by positron annihilation spectroscopy, Journal of Membrane Science, 2015, 477, 41-48.
  • X. L. Ma, B. K. Lin, X. T. Wei, J. Kniep, Y. S. Lin, Gamma-alumina supported carbon molecular sieve membrane for propylene/propane separation, Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research, 2013, 52, 4297-4305.
  • X. G. Li, X. L. Ma, M. R. Huang. Lead (II) ion-selective electrode based on polyaminoanthraquinone particles with intrinsic conductivity. Talanta, 2009, 78, 498-505.
  • X. G. Li, X. L. Ma, J. Sun, M. R. Huang. Powerful reactive sorption of silver(I) and mercury(II) onto poly(o-phenylenediamine) microparticles. Langmuir, 2009, 25, 1675-1684.
  • M. Shete, P. Kumar, J. Bachman, X. L. Ma, Z. Smith, W. Q. Xu, K. A. Mkhoyan, J. Long, M. Tsapatsis, On the Direct Synthesis of Cu(BDC) MOF Nanosheets and Their Performance in Mixed Matrix Membranes, Journal of Membrane Science, 2018, 549, 312-320.
  • Y. Liu, J. B. Hu, X. L. Ma, J. Liu, Y. S. Lin, Mechanism of CO2 adsorption on Mg/DOBDC with elevated CO2 loading, Fuel, 2016, 181, 340–346.
  • D. F. Liu, X. L. Ma, H. X. Xi, Y. S. Lin, Gas transport properties and propylene/propane separation characteristics of ZIF-8 membranes, Journal of Membrane Science, 2014, 451, 85-93.
  • A. Yadav, M. L. Lind, X. L. Ma, Y. S. Lin, Nanocomposite silicalite-1/polydimethylsiloxane membranes for pervaporation of ethanol from dilute aqueous solutions, Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research, 2013, 52, 5207-5212.

Book Chapters

  1. Xiaoli Ma, Jerry Y.S. Lin, Preparation Chemistry of Inorganic Membranes, Modern Inorganic Synthetic Chemistry, Elsevier, 2017, 669–686