Mariam Ismail

Assistant Professor of Chemistry & Physics
  • Chemistry and Physics
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(617) 521-2775

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  • BS in Chemistry
  • PhD in Chemical Engineering


  • PhD

About Me

Dr. Ismail earned a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from Northeastern University under the advising of Dr. Albert Sacco, jr. Throughout her work at the Center for Advanced Microgravity Materials Processing Center (NASA-sponsored Lab, Northeastern University), she developed a novel method for the hydrothermal synthesis of vanadosilicate AM-6 for enhanced visible light photocatalysis. Her work resulted in several technical publications, and over a dozen national and international conference proceedings. Dr. Ismail has been the recipient of several awards, including an invitation to attend the MPAC-hosted event at The White House celebrating Muslim Woman Emerging Leaders in the field of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics).

Dr. Ismail took the non-traditional route to academia by first working for two MIT start-ups as a lead research scientist/engineer. After several years in industry, she found herself back in academia where her true passion has always been. Currently, she is an assistant professor (tenure-track) at Simmons College. Her research work involves the synthesis and engineering of inorganic photocatalytic materials for environmental remediation using solar energy.

What I Teach

  • CHEM 110 General, Organic and Biological Chemistry
  • CHEM 111 Introduction to Chemistry: Inorganic
  • CHEM 248 Descriptive Inorganic Chemistry
  • CHEM/PHYS 332 Quantum Mechanics and Molecular Structure
  • CHEM 355 Independent Study with Thesis
  • CHEM 390 Seminar

Research/Creative Activities

Semiconductor photocatalysis has attracted increasing attention in the recent years as an alternative means for environmental cleaning using solar energy. Typically, photocatalysts are activated by ultraviolet (UV) irradiation because of their wide bandgaps. Since UV light accounts for a small fraction (~4–5%) of solar energy compared to visible light (~45%), a shift in the photocatalyst optical response to the visible light region is desirable for increased energy utilization. Recently, a novel nanostructured microporous zeolite-type material, vanadosilicate AM-6, has shown activity under visible light irradiation in the gas phase photo-polymerization of ethylene and the photodegradation of methylene blue. This makes AM-6 a potential natural sunlight photocatalyst for removal of pollutants from aqueous systems. The inherent microporosity of AM-6 is hypothesized to give rise to molecularly selective photocatalysis and a means to destroy environmental pollutants and simultaneously recover useful products. Common photocatalysts such as TiO2, tend to completely oxidize organic pollutants, and thus preclude the recovery of desirable intermediate products. Therefore, our research group comprehensively explores strategies for improving the visible light photocatalytic activity of AM-6 and evaluate AM-6 as a molecularly selective photocatalyst in order to remove pollutants from aqueous systems as well as protect and trap desired products. Our group uses characterization techniques such as the scanning electron microscope (SEM), X-ray diffraction (XRD), UV-vis spectrophotometer to determine the photocatalysts' properties and assess the effectiveness of photo- degradation and photo-transformation under UV and visible light irradiation.


(full list available upon request; * denotes corresponding author; † Simmons undergraduate student; †† NU undergraduate student)

J.M. Mattheisen†, J. Mastandrea†, K. Kilduff†, R. Tekin, J. Warzywoda, A. Sacco Jr., M.N. Ismail*, Effect of Crystal Quality on the Photodegradation of Methylene Blue, in preparation.

M.N. Ismail*, Ji. Warzywoda, R. Tekin, A. Sacco Jr., Photocatalytic Activity of Transition Metal Substituted AM-6 under UV and Visible Light Irradiation, Journal of Photochemistry and Photobiology A: Chemistry, Volume 353, 2018, Pages 206–214.

M.N. Ismail, U.K. Ibe††, T. Chernenko, M. Diem, J. Warzywoda, A. Sacco Jr., Synthesis and characterization of vanadosilicate AM-6 with transition metal ions isomorphously substituted in the framework, Microporous and Mesoporous Materials, Volume 145, 2011, Pages 118-123.

M.N. Ismail, Z. Ji, D.M. Callahan Jr.††, J. Warzywoda, A. Sacco Jr., Transition metal ion substitution in titanosilicate ETS-10 for enhanced UV light photodegradation of methylene blue, Journal of Photochemistry and Photobiology A: Chemistry, Volume 221, 2011, Pages 77-83.

M.N. Ismail, Z. Ji, D.M. Callahan Jr.††, E. Pandowo, Z. Cai, T.L. Goodrich, K.S. Ziemer, J. Warzywoda, A. Sacco Jr., The Role of Silver Nanoparticles on Silver Modified Titanosilicate ETS-10 in Visible Light Photocatalysis, Applied Catalysis B: Environmental, Volume 102, 2011, Pages 323-333.

Z. Ji, D.M. Callahan Jr.††, M.N. Ismail, J. Warzywoda, A. Sacco Jr., Development and Characterization of a Titanosilicate ETS-10-Coated Optical Fiber Reactor towards the Photodegradation of Methylene Blue, Journal of Photochemistry and Photobiology A: Chemistry, Volume 217, 2011, Pages 22-28.

S. Galioğlu, M.N. Ismail, J. Warzywoda, A. Sacco Jr., B. Akata, Preparation and Characterization of Oriented Titanosilicate ETS-10 Thin Films on Indium Tin Oxide Surfaces, Microporous and Mesoporous Materials, Volume 131, 2010, Pages 401-406.

M. N. Ismail, N.D. Fraiman ††, D.M. Callahan Jr. ††, E. Viveiros, O. Ozkanat, Z. Ji, R.J. Willey, J. Warzywoda, A. Sacco Jr., First Unseeded Hydrothermal Synthesis of Microporous Vanadosilicate AM-6, Microporous and Mesoporous Materials, Volume 120, 2009, Pages 454-459.