Latest News

May 2017:
Chad is an ACS/ESBES International Graduate Student Design Challenge Finalist

April 2017:
Kaleigh wins the Richard Wool Award for Women in Green Engineering

March 2017:
Cameron wins best DPOLY poster at APS 2017 March Meeting

October 2016:
Dr. Epps Delivers the Thiele Lecture at the University of Notre Dame

August 2016:
UD Hosts the 2016 Future Faculty Workshop

June 2016:
Announcing the 2016 Future Faculty Workshop to be held at UD

June 2016:
The Epps group welcomes Spencer, a summer REU student

June 2016:
Epps group collaboration with DuPont Performance Materials announced

May 2016:
Congratulations to Ming for successfully defending his thesis

May 2016:
Congratulations to Dr. Epps for his promotion to professor

May 2016:
Congratulations to Chad for receiving the Saurabh A. Palkar Graduate Award for Mentoring

April 2016:
Congratulations to Melody for receiving the Robert L. Pigford Teaching Assistant Award

April 2016:
Congratulations to Kai for successfully defending his thesis

March 2016:
Congratulations to Victoria for being named a 2016 Barry Goldwater Scholar

March 2016:
Victoria receives 2nd Place in the ACS Undergraduate Research in Polymer Science Symposium

December 2015:
Congratulations to Angela for successfully defending her thesis

October 2015:
Congratulations to Dr. Epps for receiving the 2016 American Physical Society Dillon Medal

June 2015:
Congratulations to Dr. Epps for receiving the 2015 AIChE Owens Corning Early Career Award

May 2015:
Angela is selected to speak at the AIChE 08A Excellence in Graduate Polymer Research Award Symposium

May 2015:
Tom is awarded the Paul H. Schipper Fellowship

April 2015:
Angela is awarded a UD Dissertation Fellowship

April 2015:
The Epps’ group battery membrane research was featured in the UDaily

March 2015:
Tom is awarded NSF GRFP Honorable Mention

March 2015:
Congratulations to Angela for being selected to speak at the 2015 Polymers Gordon Research Seminar!

March 2015:
Kaleigh is selected to attend the 65th Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting

February 2015:
Chad's work on light-sensitive polymers for controlled gene silencing is featured on

January 2015:
Ming and Cameron’s work on XPS depth profiling highlighted at

January 2015:
Rashida is awarded a NSF Systems Biology of Cells in Engineered Environments IGERT Fellowship

Welcome to the Epps Research Group!

welcomeSoft materials exhibit an array of structures that reflect the optimization of complex and delicate molecular interactions. At length scales between ~ 1 nm and ~1 μm, interfacial curvature and packing geometry reflect the self-assembly of molecules with prescribed architectures. One class of soft material, block copolymers, provides the opportunity to design materials with attractive chemical and mechanical properties based on their ability to assemble into periodic structures with nanoscale domain spacings. In addition, modern polymerization methods afford access to an array of block copolymer architectures, ranging from two-monomer diblocks to branched configurations that may incorporate almost any number of different polymers.

Research Program

hexagonalThe primary focus of the Epps laboratory lies in designing, building, and characterizing new polymeric materials exhibiting molecular level self-assembly. Several applications for block copolymers and polymer blends under investigation in our group include: battery and fuel cell membranes, organic photovoltaics, analytical separations membranes, nanoscale containers and scaffolds for targeted drug delivery, precursors to electronic arrays, and surface responsive materials. We manipulate polymer internal and external interfacial characteristics in bulk and thin film environments to influence the ordering and stability of polymer structures. Assembly processes in our materials are explored with a comprehensive array of reciprocal space (small and wide-angle x-ray and neutron scattering), real space (optical, scanning probe, and electron microscopy), mechanical (dynamic mechanical analysis), and spectroscopic (x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, near-edge x-ray absorption fine structure, and infrared spectroscopy) techniques. Researchers in the group gain experience in chemistry, chemical engineering, materials science, and biology. Our work can be divided into the following areas:

Renewable Polymers
Kaleigh Reno
Shu Wang

Block Polymer Electrolytes for Lithium Battery Applications
Melody Morris
Priyanka Ketkar

Polymer Thin Films
Thomas Gartner
Greg Peterson

conf_cells-1khhxc9Solution Assembly of Stimuli-Responsive Polymeric Nanomaterials
Rashida Ruddock
Thu Vi


Thomas H. Epps, III

Thomas and Kipp Gutshall Professor
Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering
Materials Science & Engineering
University of Delaware

Phone: 302.831.0215
Fax: 302.831.1048
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Recent Honors & Awards

-APS John H. Dillon Medal, 2016
-AIChE Owens Corning Early Career Award, 2015
-Sigma Xi Young Investigator Award, 2014
-Thomas & Kipp Gutshall Professorship, 2012
-Martin Luther King, Jr. Visiting Professor Award, 2012
-UD Gerard J. Mangone Best Young Scholar Award (Alison Young Professor), 2011
-DuPont Young Professor Award, 2010