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Zachary J Thompson, Ph.D.

Research and Development Scientist

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Dr. Zack Thompson is a research and development scientist at Idaho National Laboratory. His research centers on materials characterization and nondestructive evaluation through imaging and spectroscopy using wavelengths ranging from x-rays to microwaves. He serves as principal investigator or co-investigator in multiple research projects in collaboration with other national laboratories, federal entities, and universities. These projects include: Raman spectroscopy of carbon allotropes used in nuclear and energy storage applications; in-situ process monitoring and correction of additively and advanced manufactured materials using novel measurement techniques; support and analysis of field collected spectroscopic data; x-ray and optical system modeling; development of x-ray imaging techniques and image processing algorithms; design and construction of field deployable x-ray imaging systems. His research interests include using terahertz (THz) imaging and spectroscopy to characterize materials through photon-phonon and phonon-plasmon interactions, monitoring in-situ layer growth and electrical conductivity in challenging environments, nonlinear and ultrafast optics, plasmonic metamaterials, functionalizing solid-state phase-change materials, and ultrafast radiation detection. He earned his doctorate in physics from Oregon State University with a focus on nonlinear THz imaging and spectroscopy. He also holds bachelor’s degrees in physics and mathematics from Northern Arizona University.


Ph.D., Physics, Oregon State University.
B.S., Physics, Northern Arizona University
B.S., Mathematics, Northern Arizona University 


​Lee, B; Mousavian, A; Paul, MJ; Thompson, ZJ; et al., “Anisotropic high-field terahertz response of free-standing carbon nanotubes” Applied Physics Letters 108.24 (2016): 241111.

Thompson, Z; et al., "Terahertz-triggered phase transition and hysteresis narrowing in a nanoantenna patterned vanadium dioxide " American Chemical Society Nano Letters, 2015 15 (9), 5893-5898.

Paul, MJ; Chang, YC; Thompson, ZJ; et al., "High-field terahertz response of graphene." New Journal of Physics 15, No. 8 (2013): 085019.

Paul, MJ; Tomaino, JL; Kevek, JW; DeBorde, T; Thompson, ZJ; et al., "Terahertz imaging of inhomogeneous electrodynamics in single-layer graphene embedded in dielectrics", Applied Physics Letters Vol. 101, 091109 (2012).

Tegler, SC; Cornelison, DM; Grundy, WM; Romanishin, W.; Abernathy, MR; Bovyn, MJ; Burt, JA; Evans, DE; Maleszewski, CK; Thompson, Z.; et al., "Methane and nitrogen abundances on Pluto and Eris", The Astrophysical Journal Vol. 725, P.1296 (2010).

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