Carol Thompson


Carol Thompson
  • Professor, Department of Physics, Northern Illinois University (Dekalb, IL), 1995-present.


  • Since her Ph.D. work in the mid 80's, Thompson has been using scattering techniques at x-ray synchrotrons to study problems in materials science. In her research programs, she has performed experiments as a general user at SSRL, NSLS, CHESS, and the APS, and has also used beamtime as an 'internal' user on several beamlines (under the PRT system at NSLS and the CAT system at APS). At the APS, she primarily uses 12ID-D (BESSRC-CAT) at the APS, and has also used as a general user, 1BM and 2ID lines.
  • Her Ph.D. research in 1980's as a general user at SSRL, used resonant x-ray scattering to study modulated structures of 2D liquids on graphite. X-ray scattering research in 80's and 90's was as PRT-member and general user at NSLS doing in-situ scattering of chemical processing of surfaces, polymer processing, and solid-on-solid growth. X-ray scattering research in late 90's to present has been at APS performing grazing incidence x-ray scattering measurements to study film growth in-situ, and also time-resolved scattering studies using the timing structure of the ring to explore dynamics of ferroelectric switching.
  • Previous positions:
    • Associate Professor, Physics, Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, IL.
    • Assistant Professor, Physics, Polytechnic University, Brooklyn, NY.
    • postdoc, IBM, T. J. Watson Research Lab, Yorktown Heights NY.
    • Ph.D., Physics, University of Houston, Houston, TX.
    • B.S., Engineering and Applied Science, Caltech, Pasadena, CA


  • Northern Illinois University Divisional Spokesperson on BESSRC-CAT, (1999-present).
  • Member of the Board of Governors of CARS-CAT (1999-2002).
  • Experience as elected and nominated member of various Northern Illinois University university-wide and college committees dealing with personnel and policy issues.
  • Member of the Americal Physical Society, Electrochemical Society, Materials Research Society.


  • Thompson's current research interests at the APS are in the areas of materials and condensed matter systems, in particular focusing on processing of materials at surfaces, interfaces, and in film growth, in which x-rays as a probe hold a unique place because of their ability for in-situ work and atomic-scale resolution.