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Alex Smolyanitsky (Fed)

Materials Scientist

Research interests:

I use theory, particle-based simulations, and quantum-chemical calculations to perform interdisciplinary studies of nanoscale phenomena with a special focus on the properties of solid-solid/solid-liquid interfaces and the effects of confinement. My interests range from the frictional properties of two-dimensional materials to the design of nanoscale/biomimetic devices for molecular sensing, separation, and energy storage. 

If you are a postdoctoral candidate, we have openings that are immediately available to all US Citizens through the NRC Research Associateship Program (see below). If you have any questions, please email me.

Postdoctoral openings:

Sub-nanometer pores in two-dimensional materials for nanofluidics, sensing, and energy applications

Theory and Simulation of Nanoscale Systems and Devices


Selected publications:

A. Smolyanitsky and B. Luan, Nanopores in Atomically Thin 2D Nanosheets Limit Aqueous Single-Stranded DNA Transport. Phys. Rev. Lett. 2021, 127(13), 138103.

A. Smolyanitsky, A. Fang, A.F. Kazakov, and E. Paulechka, Ion transport across solid-state ion channels perturbed by directed strain. Nanoscale 2020, 12(18), 10328-10334

A. Fang and A. Smolyanitsky, Large Variations in the Composition of Ionic Liquid-Solvent Mixtures in Nanoscale Confinement. ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces 2019, 11(30), 27243-27250.

A. Fang, K. Kroenlein, D. Riccardi, and A. Smolyanitsky, Highly mechanosensitive ion channels from graphene-embedded crown ethers. Nature Materials 2019, 18(1), 76-81. 

A. Smolyanitsky, E. Paulechka, and K. Kroenlein, Aqueous Ion Trapping and Transport in Graphene-Embedded 18-crown-6 Ether Pores. ACS Nano 2018, 12(7), 6677-6684. 

A. Smolyanitsky, B. I. Yakobson, T. A. Wassenaar, E. Paulechka, K. Kroenlein, A MoS2-Based Capacitive Displacement Sensor for DNA Sequencing. ACS Nano 2016, 10(9), 9009-9016.

E. Paulechka, T. A. Wassenaar, K. Kroenlein, A. Kazakov, and A. Smolyanitsky, Nucleobase-functionalized graphene nanoribbons for accurate high-speed DNA sequencing. Nanoscale 20168 (4), 1861-1867.

Z. Deng, A. Smolyanitsky, Q. Li, X.-Q. Feng, R. J. Cannara, Adhesion-dependent negative friction coefficient on chemically modified graphite at the nanoscale. Nature Materials 201211 (12), 1032-1037.

A. Smolyanitsky, J. P. Killgore, V. K. Tewary, Effect of elastic deformation on frictional properties of few-layer graphene. Phys. Rev. B 201285 (3), 035412.

A. Smolyanitsky, J. P. Killgore, Anomalous friction in suspended graphene. Phys. Rev. B 201286 (12).


Origin and control of ionic hydration patterns in nanopores

Miraslau L. Barabash, William A. Gibby, Carlo Guardiani, Alexander Smolyanitsky, Dmitry G. Luchinsky, Peter V. McClintock
In order to permeate a nanopore, an ion must overcome a dehydration energy barrier caused by the redistribution of surrounding water molecules. The

Patents (2018-Present)

Line drawing of high efficiency photon detection

High Efficiency Photon Detection

NIST Inventors
Alex Smolyanitsky
A detection pixel includes a material that is chosen so that its (averaged) atomic number density leads to the Compton process being the dominant scattering mechanism in response to incident photons, leading to production of Compton electrons with sufficient number and kinetic energy to produce an
Created June 18, 2019, Updated December 8, 2022