Carl Thompson

Stavros Salapatas Professor of Materials Science and Engineering
Director, MIT Materials Processing Center
SB, Materials Science and Engineering, MIT, 1976
SM, Applied Physics, Harvard University, 1977
PhD, Applied Physics, Harvard University, 1982


(617) 253-7652


(617) 258-6749


  • Electrochemistry
  • Electronic Materials
  • Energy Storage
  • Mechanical Behavior of Materials
  • MEMS (Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems)
  • Nanotechnology
  • Surfaces, Interfaces, and Thin Films


Professor Thompson and his students carry out research on thin films and nanostructures for use in micro- and nano-systems, especially electronic, electromechanical and electrochemical systems. His group carries out basic research on stress and structure evolution during growth of polycrystalline films, and on solid-state dewetting of thin films.  The former is especially important for applications in microelectromechanical devices and systems, and the latter is being explored as a new mechanism for patterning of thin films.  Prof. Thompson also carries out research on the mechanisms of carbon nanotube growth and  metal-catalyzed etching for creation of nanowire arrays.  Carbon nanotubes are used in ongoing research on Li-air batteries and nanowires are used in Li-ion batteries.  Research on Li-ion microbatteries and thermogalvanic energy harvesting devices for applications in autonomous microsystems are also under investigation.

There are two MacArthur “Genius Grant” recipients on the DMSE faculty.