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


We are interested in designing novel nanostructured materials for fuel cell, lithium battery, and other ion-conduction applications; analytical separation membranes; nanoporous templates and sensors. We manipulate polymer internal and external interfacial characteristics in bulk and thin film environments to influence the ordering and stability of polymer structures, particularly in block copolymers and polymer blends.


  • 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)