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Steve Semancik (Fed)

Physicist/Project Leader

Steve Semancik leads efforts on sensor-based measurement of chemical and biochemical molecular species and processes. The research program develops enabling microdevice capabilities for a broad range of applications, ranging from environmental analysis and process monitoring to biomedical diagnostics. Improved sensor measurement concepts are being implemented using electronic, electrochemical and photonic transduction principles. Enhancements are introduced through integrated nanomaterials, micromachined and nanoengineered platforms, acquisition of multidimensional signals, and machine learning approaches. Steve is a Fellow of both the American Physical Society and the American Vacuum Society, and currently serves as the North and South Americas Steering Committee Chair of the International Meeting on Chemical Sensors. 

Postdoctoral Research Opportunities are available through the National Research Council Research Associateship Program at NIST:

Additional details:

  • Rolling application deadlines February 1 and August 1
  • US citizens only
  • ~ $78,500 annual salary plus benefits
  • Please contact Dr. Semancik directly for additional information


Selected Publications

Elvin R. Beach, Kurt D. Benkstein, Christopher B. Montgomery, Steve Semancik and Patricia A. Morris, Picoliter Drop Deposition of SnO2 Nanoparticles onto Microsensor Platforms, Sensors and Actuators B 403, 135152-135161 (2024).

Peng Zheng, Steve Semancik and Ishan Barman, Quantum Plexcitonic Sensing, Nano Letters 23, 9529-9537 (2023).

Y. Zhao, B. Dong, K. D. Benkstein, L. Chen, K. L. Steffens and S. Semancik, Deep Learning Image Analysis of Nanoplasmonic Sensors: Toward Medical Breath Monitoring, ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces 14, 54411-54422 (2022).

S. M. Robinson, Z. Shen, J. R. Askim, C. B. Montgomery, H. O. Sintim, and S. Semancik, Ligand-based stability changes in duplex DNA measured with a microscale electrochemical platform, Biosensors 9, 54-67 (2019).

Phillip H. Rogers, Kurt D. Benkstein, and Steve Semancik, Machine Learning Applied to Chemical Analysis: Sensing Multiple Biomarkers in Simulated Breath Using a Temperature-Pulsed E-Nose, Analytical Chemistry 84, 9774-9781 (2012).

B. Raman, M. Stopfer and S. Semancik, Mimicking Biological Design and Computing Principles in Artificial Olfaction, ACS Chemical Neuroscience 2 (9) 487-499 (2011). 


Patents (2018-Present)

Nanohole Array Based Sensors with Various Coating and Temperature Control

NIST Inventors
Kurt D Benkstein , Steve Semancik and Yangyang Zhao
This invention combines very fast chemical separation with very fast photonic detection to achieve gas-phase monitoring for use in a range of applications, including medical breath analysis. Appropriately "matched" timescales are needed so that fast chemical discrimination, related to slightly
Photonic thermometer packages

Optical Temperature Sensor

NIST Inventors
Zeeshan Ahmed , Steve Semancik , Jacob Taylor and Gregory F. Strouse
A thermometer includes a substrate; an optical resonator disposed on the substrate and including an optical resonance, the optical resonator being configured to receive a resonant frequency corresponding to the optical resonance; and a waveguide disposed on the substrate proximate to the optical
Created September 10, 2019, Updated March 20, 2024