Associate Professor

Keith A. Brown is an Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering, Materials Science & Engineering, and Physics at Boston University. He earned an S.B. in Physics from MIT, a Ph.D. in Applied Physics at Harvard University with Robert M. Westervelt, and was an International Institute for Nanotechnology postdoctoral fellow with Chad A. Mirkin at Northwestern University. The KABlab studies approaches to accelerate the development of advanced materials and structures with a focus on polymers. The group employs self-driving labs, miniaturization of experiments using scanning probe techniques, novel platforms for parallel materials development, and machine learning to achieve these goals. Keith has co-authored over 90 peer-reviewed publications, six issued patents, and his work has been recognized through awards including the Frontiers of Materials Award from The Minerals, Metals, & Materials Society (TMS), being recognized as a “Future Star of the AVS,” the Omar Farha Award for Research Leadership from Northwestern University, and the AVS Nanometer-Scale Science and Technology Division Postdoctoral Award. Keith served on the Nano Letters Early Career Advisory Board and currently leads the MRS Artificial Intelligence in Materials Development Staging Task Force.

Research Interests:
Nanomanufacturing and Hierarchical 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:
Gongora, A. E.; Xu, B.; Perry, W.; Okoye, C.; Riley, P.; Reyes, K. G.; Morgan, E. F.; Brown, K. A., A Bayesian experimental autonomous researcher for mechanical design. Sci. Adv. 2020, 6 (15), eaaz1708.Alsharif, N.; Burkatovsky, A.; Lissandrello, C.; Jones, K. M.; White, A. E.; Brown, K. A., Design and Realization of 3D Printed AFM Probes. Small 2018, 14 (19), 1800162.Rendos, A.; Alsharif, N.; Kim, B. L.; Brown, K. A., Elasticity and Failure of Liquid Marbles: Influence of Particle Coating and Marble Volume. Soft Matter 2017, 13 (47), 8903-8909.Li, L.; Alsharif, N.; Brown, K. A., Confinement-Induced Stiffening of Elastomer Thin Films. J. Phys. Chem. B 2018, 122, 10767–10773.Cao, W.; Chern, M.; Dennis, A. M.; Brown, K. A., Measuring Nanoparticle Polarizability using Fluorescence Microscopy. Nano Lett. 2019, 19 (8), 5762-5768.

For a full list of publications, please visit