NRC Research and Fellowship Programs
Fellowships Office
Policy and Global Affairs

Participating Agencies

  sign in | print

RAP opportunity at National Institute of Standards and Technology     NIST

Theory and Simulation of Nanoscale Systems and Devices


Material Measurement Laboratory, Applied Chemicals and Materials Division

opportunity location
50.64.72.B8320 Boulder, CO

NIST only participates in the February and August reviews.


name email phone
Alex Smolyanitsky 303.497.6577


The Thermodynamics Research Center group conducts interdisciplinary research at the cutting edge of the intersection of nanomechanics, mesoscale physics, and chemistry. Our specific interests are in the charge/mass transport and interfacial phenomena in condensed-matter (liquid- and solid-state) systems at the nanoscale. Our work is performed in collaboration with experimental scientists and the potential applications range from water desalination and DNA sequencing to achieving ultralow friction.

We utilize a set of methods, including coordination chemistry, multi-barrier transition state theory, large-scale molecular dynamics simulations, and density functional theory calculations. Outstanding candidates are encouraged to submit research proposals on the following topics:

  • Aqueous ion transport across subnanoscale pores in two-dimensional materials (boron nitride, transition metal dichalcogenides, graphene, MXenes) for applications in molecular separations and water desalination.
  • Physics of solid-state and solid-state-biomolecular hybrid devices for DNA/protein sequencing.
  • Structural and thermodynamic properties of static and kinetic friction in two-dimensional and lamellar materials.
  • Ionic liquids in nanoscale confinement for applications in supercapacitor energy storage.

We also welcome proposals on topics not specifically listed above.

Selected publications:

  1. Smolyanitsky, A., et al., Ion transport across solid-state ion channels perturbed by directed strain. Nanoscale, 2020. 12(18): p. 10328-10334.
  2. Fang, A. and A. Smolyanitsky, Large Variations in the Composition of Ionic Liquid–Solvent Mixtures in Nanoscale Confinement. ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces, 2019. 11(30): p. 27243-27250.
  3. Fang, A., et al., Highly mechanosensitive ion channels from graphene-embedded crown ethers. Nature Materials, 2019. 18(1): p. 76-81.
  4. Smolyanitsky, A., E. Paulechka, and K. Kroenlein, Aqueous Ion Trapping and Transport in Graphene-Embedded 18-Crown-6 Ether Pores. ACS Nano, 2018. 12(7): p. 6677-6684.
  5. Smolyanitsky, A., et al., A MoS2-Based Capacitive Displacement Sensor for DNA Sequencing. ACS Nano, 2016.
  6. Paulechka, E., et al., Nucleobase-functionalized graphene nanoribbons for accurate high-speed DNA sequencing. Nanoscale, 2016. 8(4): p. 1861-1867.
  7. Deng, Z., et al., Adhesion-dependent negative friction coefficient on chemically modified graphite at the nanoscale. Nature Materials, 2012. 11(12): p. 1032-1037.

key words
Biosensing; Simulation; Theory; Chemistry; Physics; DNA sequencing; Protein sequencing; Nanomaterials; Nanopore; Graphene; Nanoelectronics; Nanotribology; Friction;


Citizenship:  Open to U.S. citizens
Level:  Open to Postdoctoral applicants


Base Stipend Travel Allotment Supplementation
$82,764.00 $3,000.00
Copyright © 2024. National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.Terms of Use and Privacy Policy