Associate Professor of Materials Science and Engineering
L.H. and F.E. Van Vlack Professor
College of Engineering
B.S. with Honors, Iowa State University, Physics, 1991
M.S., The University of Chicago, Astronomy and Astrophysics, 1993
Ph.D., The University of Chicago, Astronomy and Astrophysics, 1997
Thornton's research focuses on computational and theoretical investigations of the evolution of microstructures and nanostructures during processing and operation. These investigations facilitate the understanding of the underlying physics of materials to aid us in designing advanced materials with desirable properties. The topics include coarsening in elastically stressed solids, evolution of topologically complex systems in three dimensions, simulations of electrochemical systems, and self-assembly of quantum dots and other nanoscale phenomena during heteroepitaxy of semiconductors using large-scale simulations.