Carl V. Thompson

  • Stavros Salapatas Professor of Materials Science and Engineering
  • Director, Materials Research Laboratory (MRL) at MIT
  • SB, Materials Science and Engineering, MIT, 1976
  • SM, Applied Physics, Harvard University, 1977
  • PhD, Applied Physics, Harvard University, 1982

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

Carl V. Thompson


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 structure evolution during deposition and post-deposition processing of thin films. The latter includes research on templated solid-state dewetting of thin films and nanostructures, for development of new patterning methods and for basic studies of capillary-driven morphological evolution.  Prof. Thompson's group also carries out research on the mechanisms of carbon nanotube growth and metal-catalyzed etching for creation of semiconductor nanowire arrays.  Carbon nanotubes are also used in research on metal-air batteries and capacitive desalination devices, and  nanowires are used in research on solid state supercapacitors.  Thin film Li-ion microbatteries and thermogalvanic energy harvesting devices for applications in autonomous microsystems are also under investigation.

Recent News

Carl Thompson is profiled on MIT News

Carl Thompson, the Stavros Salapatas Professor of Materials Science and Engineering, is the co-director of the newly organized Materials Research Laboratory at MIT. MRL is the combination of MIT's long-established Materials Processing Center with the Center for Materials Science and Engineering…  

Materials Day Recap

Our friends at the Materials Processing Center recently held their annual Materials Day event. As part of the day of events, several DMSE faculty participated in a series of talks about battery challenges. The day also included a Poster Session contest. The winners of the contest were Ping-Chun…  

The MPC and CMSE have new summer interns

"MIT is very fortunate to have this very talented group of students with us, and the faculty all hope that one of them will work with their group," says Carl V. Thompson, director of the Materials Processing Center and Stavros Salapatas Professor of Materials Science and Engineering at MIT.…  

Fostering U.S.-Russia energy innovation

Skoltech Center for Electrochemical Energy Storage brings together researchers from MIT and two Russian institutes to develop advanced batteries and fuel cells.  

Using Nanotubes in Computer Chips

Researchers in the lab of MIT materials science professor Carl V. Thompson grew dense forests of crystalline carbon nanotubes on a metal surface at temperatures close to those characteristic of computer chip manufacturing. Unlike previous attempts to do the same thing, the researchers' technique…