Thomas Epps

Thomas Epps, III

Tom and Kipp Gutshall Senior Career Development Chair

Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering

Materials Science & Engineering

Email :

Phone : (302) 831-0215

215 Colburn Lab


Dr. Epps’ research interests include nanostructured and sustainable soft materials from biobased feedstocks, polymeric materials for ion-conduction membranes, polymer assemblies for targeted drug delivery and gene therapy, polymer films for nanotemplating, and composite materials for separations and catalysis applications. His research group is a leader in the design, synthesis, and characterization of polymer materials, along with their translation toward commercial applications. By developing new materials and establishing unique structure-property relationships, his group is able to create the next-generation of polymers leading to improvements in human health, sustainability, energy


  • 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

Research Interests

1. Generating network nanostructures in high molecular weight and ion-conducting block copolymer systems.

2. Stabilizing triply-periodic (network) structures in ultrathin polymer films.

3. Synthesizing novel block copolymer structures in microfluidic devices.

4. Creating thermally-reversible, co-continuous microstructured materials using polymer blends.

Representative Publications


59. [11] Foster, A. A.; Greco, C. T.; Green, M. D.; Epps, T. H., III; Sullivan, M. O. Advanced Healthcare Materials 2015 “Light-Mediated Activation of siRNA Binding and Release in Diblock Copolymer Assemblies for Controlled Gene Silencing” (co-corresponding author) DOI: 10.1002/adhm.201400671 *Highlighted on Materials Views –*

60. [12] Gilbert, J. B.; Luo, M.; Shelton, C.; Rubner, M. F.; Cohen, R. E.; Epps, T. H., III ACS Nano 2015, 9(1), 512-520. “Determination of Lithium Ion Distributions in Nanostructured Block Polymer Electrolyte Thin Films by XPS Depth Profiling” (corresponding author) *Gilbert and Luo are co-first authors *Highlighted on*

61. [9] Cho, W.; Wu, J.; Shim, B. S.; Kuan, W. F.; Mastroianni, S. E.; Young, W. S.; Kuo, C.C.; Epps, T. H., III, Martin, D. C. Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics 2015, 17, 5115-5123. “Synthesis and Characterization of Bicontinuous Cubic Poly(3,4-ethylene dioxythiophene) Gyroid (PEDOT GYR) Gels”

62. [16] Kuan, W. F.; Remy, R.; Mackay, M. E.; Epps, T. H., III RSC Advances 2015, 5, 12597-12604. [invited special issue on electrochemical storage] “Controlled Ionic Conductivity via Tapered Block Polymer Electrolytes” (corresponding author)

63. [7] Mayeda, M. K.; Hayat, J.; Epps, T. H., III; Lauterbach, J., Journal of Materials Chemistry A 2015, 3, 7822-7829 “Metal Oxide Arrays from Block Copolymer Thin Film Templates” (co-corresponding author)

64. [10] Luo, M.; Scott, D. M.; Epps, T. H., III ACS Macro Letters 2015, 4, 516-520 “Writing Highly Ordered Macroscopic Patterns in Cylindrical Block Polymer Thin Films via Raster Solvent Vapor Annealing and Soft Shear” (corresponding author)

65. [3] Kuan, W. F.; Nguyen, N. A.; Reed, E. H.; Mackay, M. E.; Epps, T. H., III MRS Communications 2015, 5(2), 251-256. [invited special issue on polymers and soft matter] “Using Tapered Interfaces to Manipulate Nanoscale Morphologies in Ion-Doped Block Polymers” (corresponding author)

66. [7] Holmberg, A. L.; Karavolias, M. G.; Epps, T. H., III Polymer Chemistry 2015, 6, 5728-5739. “RAFT Polymerization and Associated Reactivity Ratios of Mixed Methacrylate-Functionalized Bio-oil Constituents” (corresponding author) *Highlighted in Polymer Chemistry Editorial*

67. [10] Shelton, C. K.; Epps, T. H., III Macromolecules 2015, 48(13), 4572-4580. “Decoupling Substrate Surface Interactions in Block Polymer Thin Film Self-Assembly.” (corresponding author)

68. [5] Shelton, C. K.; Epps, T. H., III Macromolecules 2016, 49(2), 574-580, “Mapping Substrate Surface Field Propagation in Block Polymer Thin Films.” (corresponding author)

69. [13] Epps, T. H., III; O’Reilly, R. K. Chemical Science 2016, 7(3), 1674-1689, [invited perspective], “Block Copolymers: Controlling Nanostructure to Generate Functional Materials – Synthesis, Characterization, and Engineering.” (co-corresponding author)

70. [7] Holmberg, A. L.; Reno, K. H.; Nguyen, N. A.; Wool, R. P.; Epps, T. H., III Macromolecules 2016 49(4), 1286-1295. “Softwood Lignin-Based Methacrylate Polymers with Tunable Thermal and Viscoelastic Properties.” (corresponding author)

71. [3] Holmberg, A. L.; Nguyen, N. A.; Karavolias, M. G.; Reno, K. H.; Wool, R.P.; Epps, T. H., III ACS Macro Letters 2016 5(5), 574-578. “Syringyl Methacrylate, a Hardwood Lignin-Based Monomer for High-Tg Polymeric Materials.” (corresponding author)

72. Shelton, C. K.; Epps, T. H., III Polymer 2016 [invited review] 105, 545-561. “Block copolymer thin films: Characterizing nanostructure evolution with in situ X-ray and neutron scattering.” (corresponding author)

73. [1] Luo, M.; Brown, J. R.; Remy, R. A.; Scott, D. M.; Mackay, M. E.; Hall, L. M.; Epps, T. H., III Macromolecules 2016 49(14), 5213-5222. “Determination of Interfacial Mixing in Tapered Block Polymer Thin Films: Experimental and Theoretical Investigations.” (corresponding author)

74. [1] Greco, C. T.; Epps, T. H., III, Sullivan, M. O. ACS Biomaterials Science and Engineering 2016 2(9), 1582-1594. “Mechanistic Design of Polymer Nanocarriers to Spatiotemporally Control Gene Silencing” (co-corresponding author)

75. [3] Shelton, C. K.; Jones, R. L.; Dura, J. A.; Epps, T. H., III Macromolecules 2016 49(19), 7525-7534. “Tracking Solvent Distribution in Block Polymer Thin Films during Solvent Vapor Annealing with In Situ Neutron Scattering.” (corresponding author)

76. [0] Gartner, T. E.; Epps, T. H., III, Jayaraman, A. Journal of Chemical Theory and Computation 2016 12(11), 5501-5510. “Leveraging Gibbs Ensemble Molecular Dynamics and Hybrid Monte Carlo/Molecular Dynamics for Efficient Study of Phase Equilibria”
(co-corresponding author)

77. Gartner, T. E.; Morris, M. A.; Epps, T. H., III Macromolecular Chemistry and Physics 2017 (invited talent article, in press) “TALENT: Regulating Block Polymer Structure, Properties, and Processability for Nanostructured Materials Systems” (corresponding author)

78. Greco, C. T.; Muir, V. G.; Epps, T. H., III, Sullivan, M. O. Acta Biomaterialia 2017 (in press), “Efficient tuning of siRNA dose response by combining mixed polymer nanocarriers with simple kinetic modeling” (co-corresponding author)

79. Greco, C. T.; Epps, T. H., III, Sullivan, M. O. Journal of Visualized Experiments 2017 (revision submitted) “Predicting Gene Silencing through the Spatiotemporal Control of siRNA Release from Photo-Responsive Polymeric Nanocarriers” (co-corresponding author)