Faculty Directory
Kenneth Shull

Professor of Materials Science and Engineering


2220 Campus Drive
Cook Hall 2036; Office - Cook 2083
Evanston, IL 60208

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Shull Research Group


Materials Science and Engineering

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Ph.D. Materials Science, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY

M.S. Electronic Materials, MIT, Cambridge, MA

B.S. Materials Science, MIT, Cambridge, MA

Research Interests

Our focus is on the properties of polymer surfaces and interfaces, with an emphasis on the adhesion of "soft materials." Examples range from traditional pressure-sensitive adhesives (sticky tape) to highly specialized polymeric gels commonly used in biomedical applications.

There is little understanding of the relationship in these systems between polymer adhesion and the structure of the interface on molecular or submolecular scale. We seek to make this connection through studies of well-characterized model systems synthesized in our own lab and through carefully designed fracture mechanics experiments.

Related problems of interest to us include polymer/inorganic composites and the origins of adhesion and mechanical response in biological systems.

Significant Recognition

  • Fellow, American Physical Society, 2002
  • NSF Young Investigator Award, 1994–99
  • Department Teacher of the Year, 1995
  • McCormick Adviser of the Year, 1998

Selected Publications

  • Broadbelt, Linda J.; Shull, Kenneth R.; Casadio, Francesca; Oakley, Lindsay H., “Microkinetic modeling of the autoxidative curing of an alkyd and oil-based paint model system”, Applied Physics A: Materials Science and Processing, (2015)
  • Shull, Kenneth R.; Laprade, Evan J.; Jiang, Zhang; Liaw, Chya-Yan, “Mechanical and microstructural characterization of sulfonated pentablock copolymer membranes”, Journal of Polymer Science, Part B: Polymer Physics, (2015)
  • Shull, Kenneth R.; Martin, Elizabeth J.; Mathew, Mathew T., “Viscoelastic properties of electrochemically deposited protein/metal complexes”, Langmuir, (2015)
  • Burghardt, Wesley R.; Liaw, Chya Yan; Shull, Kenneth R.; Henderson, Kevin J.; Wang, Jin, “Micellar morphologies of block copolymer solutions near the sphere/cylinder transition”, Macromolecules, (2015)
  • Kung, Harold H.; Kung, Mayfair C.; Shen, Jingmei; Wu, Yi Y.; Hayner, Cary M., “Upper-critical solution temperature (UCST) polymer functionalized graphene oxide as thermally responsive ion permeable membrane for energy storage devices”, Journal of Materials Chemistry A, (2014)
  • Shull, Kenneth R.; Denolf, Garret C.; Sturdy, Lauren F., “High-frequency rheological characterization of homogeneous polymer films with the quartz crystal microbalance”, Langmuir, (2014)
  • Shull, Kenneth R.; Casadio, Francesca; Sturdy, Lauren; Kokkori, Maria; Muir, Kimberley, “Quartz crystal rheometry: A quantitative technique for studying curing and aging in artists' paints”, Polymer Degradation and Stability, (2014)
  • Shull, Kenneth R.; Yuan, Wa; Laprade, Evan J.; Henderson, Kevin J., “Formation and mechanical characterization of ionically crosslinked membranes at oil-water interfaces”, Soft Matter, (2014)