Alexie M. Kolpakkolpak
Assistant Professor
Department of Mechanical Engineering


Education & Training:

University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA. B.A. 05/02 Biochemistry
University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA. M.S. 05/02 Chemistry
University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA. Ph.D. 08/07 Physical Chemistry

Personal Statement:

My research is focused on using first-principles computations to design novel materials and heterosystems to address a wide range of globally important issues, from energy sustainability and environmental protection to advances in medicine at the nano-bio interface and next-generation magneto-electronic technologies. Trends in system complexity and component scale in each of these areas are pushing the role of interfaces — the boundaries between different materials or phases — to the forefront in an increasing number of practical applications. It is therefore essential to develop a fundamental understanding of interfaces and their effects on functionality. Additionally, while only a small fraction of the immense phase space spanned by interfaces has been explored at the atomic scale, it has already proven rich with possibilities for the discovery of novel physics and chemistry, as well as the potential for providing creative new tools for tailoring materials behavior from the nanoscale all the way up to the macroscale.


Research Associate, University of Pennsylvania, 2003-2007,
Department of Chemistry (Advisor: A. M. Rappe) Postdoctoral Research Associate, Yale University, 2007-2010,
Department of Applied Physics and Center for Research on Interface Structure and Properties (Advisor: S. Ismail-Beigi) Postdoctoral Research Associate, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2010-2012,
Department of Materials Science and Engineering (Advisor: J. C. Grossman) Assistant Professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, July, 2012-present 


Vagelos Scholarship (University of Pennsylvania, 1998-2002)
Atofina Graduate Fellowship (University of Pennsylvania, 2005)

Selected Peer-reviewed Publications:

1. A. M. Kolpak and J. C. Grossman, “Hybrid chromophore/template nanostructures: a customizable platform material for solar energy storage and conversion,” J. Chem. Phys., in press (2012).

2. A. M. Kolpak and S. Ismail-Beigi, “Interface structure and film polarization in epitaxial SrTiO3/Si(001),” Phys.  Rev. B, 85, 195318 (2012).

3. A. M. Kolpak and J. C. Grossman, “Azobenzene-Functionalized Carbon Nanotubes As High-Energy  Density Solar Thermal Fuels,” Nano Letters, 11, 31563162 (2011).

4. A. M. Kolpak and S. Ismail-Beigi,  “Thermodynamic stability and growth kinetics of epitaxial SrTiO3 on silicon,” Phys. Rev. B 83, 165318 (2011).

5. A. M. Kolpak, F. J. Walker, J. W. Reiner, Y. Segal, D. Su, M. S. Sawicki, C. C. Broadbridge, Z. Zhang,  Y. Zhu, C. H. Ahn, and S. Ismail-Beigi, “Inhibition of ferroelectricity in Si/SrTiO3 due to intrinsic interface effects,” Phys. Rev. Lett. 105, 217601 (2010).

6. H. Chen, A. M. Kolpak, and S. Ismail-Beigi, “Electronic and magnetic properties of the SrTiO3/LaAlO3 interface from first-principles,” Adv. Mater. 22, 2881 (2010).

7. J. W. Reiner, A. M. Kolpak, Y. Segal, K. F. Garrity, S. Ismail-Beigi, C.H. Ahn, and.  F. J. Walker, “Crystalline oxides on semiconductors,” Adv. Mater. 22, 2919 (2010).

8. K. Garrity, A. M. Kolpak, S. Ismail-Beigi, and E. A. Altman, “Chemistry of ferroelectric surfaces,” Adv. Mater. 22, 29692973 (2010).

9. R-V. Wang, D. D. Fong, F. Jiang, S. K. Strieffer, P. H. Fuoss, C. Thompson, J. A. Eastman, A. M. Kolpak, A. M. Rappe, K. Latifi, and G. B. Stephenson, “Reversible chemical switching of a ferroelectric film”, Phys. Rev. Lett. 102, 047601 (2009).

10. D. Li, M. He, J. Garra, A. M. Kolpak, A. M. Rappe, D. A. Bonnell, and J. Vohs, “Direct in situ determination of the polarization dependence of adsorption on ferroelectric surfaces ”, Nature Materials 7, 473  (2008).

11. A. M. Kolpak, I. Grinberg, and A. M. Rappe, “Polarization effects on the surface chemistry of PbTiO3 supported Pt films”, Phys. Rev. Lett. 98, 166101 (2007).

12. A. M. Kolpak, D. Li, R. Shao, D. A. Bonnell, and A. M. Rappe, “Evolution of the structure and thermodynamic stability of the BaTiO3 (001) surface”, Phys. Rev. Lett. 101, 036102 (2007).

Published in People

Org chart

1. Advanced lithium ion and
multivalent ion batteries
2. Rechargeable metal-air batteries

3. Fuel & electrolysis cells




Seed: Systems Level Analysis

red dot inorganic synthesis/materials design

orange dot polymer/organic synthesis

green dot materials characterization

purple dot theory/computation

blue dot materials integratiom/electrochemical evaluation


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stevenson  Thompson2

Keith J. Stevensonblue dot
green dot


Harry Tuller red dot
MITblue dot

Published in CEE