Latest News

March 2019:
Congratulations to Melody for being selected as a finalist for the APS Division of Polymer Physics Frank J. Padden Jr. Award! A College of Engineering article can be found here.

November 2018:
The Epps group's work on tapered block polymer electrolytes is highlighted in UDaily, the Council of Graduate Schools, and Delaware NPR

November 2018:
The Epps group's work on turning waste lignin into tapes is highlighted by the U.S. DOE Office of Science

November 2018:
The Epps group welcomes Jordan Willie, Dajeong Kim, and Jignesh Mahajan as new graduate students!

October 2018:
The Epps group welcomes Chao Wang as a new post-doc!

October 2018:
The 2018 Future Faculty Workshop is featured in UDaily

August 2018:
Congratulations to Esther and Robert for passing quals!

July 2018:
The Epps group welcomes Eric Gottlieb as a new post-doc!

July 2018:
Seeking candidates for a post-doctoral position. Details can be found here

July 2018:
UD hosts the 2018 Future Faculty Workshop

June 2018:
Congratulations to Dr. Epps for being named a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry!

June 2018:
The Epps group's work on biobased pressure sensitive adhesives is featured in UDaily

April 2018:
Announcing the 2018 Future Faculty Workshop to be held at UD

April 2018:
Congratulations to Melody for being named the Fraser and Shirley Russell Teaching Fellow in Chemical Engineering!

March 2018:
Congrats to Seung for a recent publication in Science!

March 2018:
The Epps group welcomes Silvia Grama as a new post-doc!

January 2018:
The Epps group is looking to hire two new post-docs, check out the postings here for more details

January 2018:
Congrats to Greg for passing quals!

November 2017:
The Epps group welcomes Esther and Robert as new grad students!

November 2017:
The Epps group welcomes Yi as a new grad student!

November 2017:
Congrats to Seung for receiving the Hanwha Award for Post Docs at AIChE!

November 2017:
Congrats to Victoria for receiving 1st-Place for her MESD Undergraduate Poster at AIChE!

October 2017:
Congrats to Dr. Epps for being elected as a 2017 Fellow of the American Physical Society

August 2017:
Morris et al. perspective is a top 20 read for August

August 2017:
Congrats to Priyanka for passing quals!

August 2017:
The Epps group welcomes Seung as a new post-doc!

July 2017:
Dr. Epps is appointed as the new CMET Director

June 2017:
The Epps group welcomes Shelby and Grace, as summer REU students!

May 2017:
Congratulations to Chad for successfully defending his thesis!

May 2017:
Congratulations to Cameron for successfully defending his thesis!

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

April 2017:
Dr. Epps Delivers the Lindsay Lecture at Texas A&M University

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

March 2017:
The Epps group is featured in UDaily Tuning Block-polymers

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
Robert O’Dea
Dajeong Kim
Jignesh Mahajan
Jordan Willie

Block Polymer Electrolytes for Lithium Battery Applications
Melody Morris
Priyanka Ketkar

Polymer Thin Films
Greg Peterson
Seunghyun Sung
Eric Gottlieb
Chao Wang

conf_cells-1khhxc9Solution Assembly of Stimuli-Responsive Polymeric Nanomaterials
Esther Roh


Thomas H. Epps, III

Thomas and Kipp Gutshall Professor
Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering
Materials Science & Engineering
Center for Molecular & Engineering Thermodynamics Director
University of Delaware

Phone: 302.831.0215
Fax: 302.831.1048
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Recent Honors & Awards

-Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry, 2018
-APS Fellow, 2017
-Thiele Lectureship, University of Notre Dame, 2016
-Graduate Students of Diversity Lectureship, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, 2016
-APS John H. Dillon Medal, 2016
-AIChE Owens Corning Early Career Award, 2015
-Kavli Fellow, National Academy of Sciences, 2014
-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