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

  • Chen, Yusu; Wang, Qifeng; Mills, Carolyn E.; Kann, Johanna G.; Shull, Kenneth R.; Tullman-Ercek, Danielle; Wang, Muzhou, High-Throughput Screening Test for Adhesion in Soft Materials Using Centrifugation, ACS Central Science 7(7):1135-1143.
  • Wang, Ao; Vargas-Lara, Fernando; Younker, Jarod M.; Iyer, Krishnan A.; Shull, Kenneth R.; Keten, Sinan, Quantifying Chemical Composition and Cross-link Effects on EPDM Elastomer Viscoelasticity with Molecular Dynamics, Macromolecules 54(14):6780-6789.
  • Eaton, Matthew D.; Domene-López, Daniel; Wang, Qifeng; G. Montalbán, Mercedes; Martin-Gullon, Ignacio; Shull, Kenneth R., Exploring the effect of humidity on thermoplastic starch films using the quartz crystal microbalance, Carbohydrate Polymers 261.
  • Eaton, Matthew D.; Brinson, L. Catherine; Shull, Kenneth R., Temperature dependent fracture behavior in model epoxy networks with nanoscale heterogeneity, Polymer 221.
  • Delgado, David E.; King, Daniel R.; Cui, Kunpeng; Gong, Jian Ping; Shull, Kenneth R., High-Fidelity Hydrogel Thin Films Processed from Deep Eutectic Solvents, ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces 12(38):43191-43200.
  • Chen, Jeffrey E.; Wang, Qifeng; Shull, Kenneth R.; Richards, Jeffrey J., Control over electroless plating of silver on silica nanoparticles with sodium citrate, Journal of Colloid And Interface Science 576:376-384.
  • Silvaroli, Anthony J.; Heyl, Tyler R.; Qiang, Zhe; Beebe, Jeremy M.; Ahn, Dongchan; Mangold, Shane; Shull, Kenneth R.; Wang, Muzhou, Tough, Transparent, Photocurable Hybrid Elastomers, ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces 12(39):44125-44136.
  • Wang, Qifeng; Griffith, William B.; Einsla, Melinda; Zhang, Sipei; Pacholski, Michaeleen L.; Shull, Kenneth R., Bulk and Interfacial Contributions to the Adhesion of Acrylic Emulsion-Based Pressure-Sensitive Adhesives, Macromolecules 53(16):6975-6983.