Latest news:

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!


Thomas H. Epps, III

Thomas and Kipp Gutshall Chair
Associate Professor
Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering
University of Delaware

Phone: 302.831.0215
Fax: 302.831.1048
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Recent Honors & Awards:


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

Welcome to the Epps Research Group!

Soft 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

The 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
Angela Holmberg
Kaleigh Reno

Nanoporous Block Copolymer Templates for Biological and Chemical Separations
Wei-Fan Kuan
Melody Morris

Conducting Polymers for Lithium Battery and Photovoltaic Applications
Jillian Emerson

Combinatorial Methods in Surface Responsive Polymer Films
Ming Luo
Michael Mayeda
Cameron Shelton

Block Copolymers in Solution
Chad Greco
Rashida Ruddock