Keith Brown

Keith Brown

Affiliate Faculty (Assistant Professor - ENG/ME)
O: ENG, Room 305. 617-353-4841


Research Interests:

Intersection of Nanotechnology and Soft Materials

My group is an interdisciplinary research program at the intersection of nanotechnology and soft materials with three goals: (1) Learn how to make novel materials by merging the strengths of top-down patterning and bottom-up assembly. (2) Investigate how mesoscopic order affects the behavior of soft materials such as polymers and proteins. (3) Apply these lessons to make new materials and devices that leverage hierarchical structure.

Selected Publications:

“Elasticity and Failure of Liquid Marbles: Influence of Particle Coating and Marble Volume”, A Rendos, N Alsharif, BL Kim, KA Brown, Soft Matter, 2017

“Polymer nanomechanics: Separating the size effect from the substrate effect in nanoindentation”, L Li, LM Encarnacao, KA Brown, Applied Physics Letters 110 (4), 043105

“Quantifying Liquid Transport and Patterning using Atomic Force Microscopy”, N Farmakidis, KA Brown, Langmuir, 2017

“Desktop nanofabrication with massively multiplexed beam pen lithography”, X Liao, KA Brown, AL Schmucker, G Liu, S He, W Shim, CA Mirkin, Nature communications 4, 2103, 2013

“Triaxial AFM probes for non-contact trapping and manipulation”, KA Brown, RM Westervelt, Nano letters 11, 3197, 2011

For a full list of publications, please see the attached CV


  • Ph.D. in applied physics, Harvard University
  • S.B. in Physics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology


Keith Brown is interested in transport processes at the nanoscale. Particularly, he is interested in how the nanostructure of materials affects the way light, heat, electrons, and molecules can move through a system. He focuses on answering fundamental questions in these areas and exploring new materials systems that offer novel ways of tailoring these processes. Often, the ability to answer unique questions stems from realizing new capabilities for making and imaging materials, so a major thrust of his research is the development of enabling techniques, especially those related to scanning probe microscopy.