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RAP opportunity at National Institute of Standards and Technology     NIST

DNA as a Model for Self-Assembling Nanoscale Systems


Physical Measurement Laboratory, Microsystems and Nanotechnology Division

opportunity location
50.68.02.B8495 Gaithersburg, MD 20899

NIST only participates in the February and August reviews.


name email phone
James Alexander Liddle 301.975.6050


Self-assembly methods have the potential to integrate heterogeneous nanoscale objects to create multifunctional systems, with applications ranging from environmental sensing to theranostics. DNA is an ideal system with which to investigate the potential of self-assembly because of its programmability, versatility, and availability.  We are integrating  DNA nanostructures with silicon electronics to create devices that deliver novel functionality that cannot be achieved using silicon or DNA alone. We also investigate the limits of diffusional and driven self-assembly in an effort to elucidate the underlying thermodynamic and kinetic effects that control the speed, yield, and complexity of self-assembled nanostructures. Our research effort involves both experimental and theoretical investigations. We use ensemble fluorescence methods to understand the dynamics of assembly, and single-construct measurements, by transmission electron microscopy, atomic force microscopy, and single-molecule fluorescence to provide insight into the degree of perfection that can be achieved. The self-assembly lab is part of the Microsystems and Nanotechnology Division, where we develop instrumentation beyond the state of the art. Our research program offers a supportive, highly-multidisciplinary environment coupled with outstanding experimental resources.


Variable Gain DNA Nanostructure Charge Amplifiers for Biosensing, J. M. Majikes, S. Cho, T. E. Cleveland IV, J. A. Liddle, A. Balijepalli, bioRxiv, 2023.08. 11.552535

    Synthesizing the biochemical and electronic worlds: the future of nucleic acid nanotechnology, J. M. Majikes, and J. A. Liddle, Nanoscale, 14, 15586 (2022)

    High-Resolution DNA Binding Kinetics Measurements with Double Gate FD-SOI Transistors, S. Cho, A. Zaslavsky, C. A Richter, J. M. Majikes, J. A. Liddle, F. Andrieu, S. Barraud, A. Balijepalli, 2022 International Electron Devices Meeting, 24.2 (2022)

    Failure mechanisms in DNA self-assembly: barriers to single fold yield, Jacob M. Majikes, Paul N. Patrone, Anthony J. Kearsley, Michael Zwolak, J. Alexander Liddle, ACS Nano, 15, 3284 (2021)

    key words
    Self-assembly; DNA; Fluorescence; TEM; AFM;


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


    Base Stipend Travel Allotment Supplementation
    $82,764.00 $3,000.00
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