Latest News

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
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
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

August 2014:
Angela et al.'s review article is highlighted by the Soft Matter Blog

August 2014:
Elizabeth transitions into NRC post-doctoral fellowship at NIST

August 2014:
Angela receives the UD Professional Development Award

May 2014:
Elizabeth receives CCR graduate student award

May 2014:
Ellen is highlighted in the UDaily

May 2014:
Epps group highlighted in UDaily for Nature Communications publication

March 2014:
Dr. Epps is awarded the 2014 Sigma Xi Young Investigator Award

March 2014:
Kaleigh is highlighted on ACS Live

Jan 2014:
Dr. Epps invited to join Editorial Advisory Board for Polymer Chemistry (RSC)

Dec 2013:
Angela receives 2013 Ciba Award

Nov 2013:
Dr. Epps is featured in the UDaily

Sept 2013:
Tulane University welcomes Dr. Albert!

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:

renewableRenewable Polymers
Kaleigh Reno
Shu Wang

nanoporousBlock Polymer Electrolytes for Lithium Battery Applications
Melody Morris

thin_filmsPolymer Thin Films
Jillian Emerson
Ming Luo
Cameron Shelton
Thomas Gartner

conf_cells-1khhxc9Solution Assembly of Stimuli-Responsive Polymeric Nanomaterials
Chad Greco
Rashida Ruddock
Tiffany Suekama


Thomas H. Epps, III

Thomas and Kipp Gutshall Professor
Associate Professor
Chemical & Biomolecular 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