Postdoc Opportunity in Atomic Origami with McEuen and Cohen Groups at Cornell

Lance Cooper via Nadya Mason

Atomic Origami: a technology platform for nanoscale machines, sensors, and robots

A joint postdoctoral fellow position between the Itai Cohen and Paul McEuen labs at Cornell.

What would we be able to do if we could build cell-scale machines that sense, interact, and control their micro environment? Can we develop a Moore’s law for robots?

In Richard Feynman’s classic talk "There's Plenty of Room at the Bottom" he foretold of the coming revolution in the miniaturization of electronics components. This vision is largely being achieved and pushed to its ultimate limit as Moore's Law comes to an end. In this same lecture, Feynman also points to the possibilities that would be opened by the miniaturization of machines. This vision, while far from being realized, is equally as tantalizing. For example, even achieving miniaturization to micron length scales would open the door to machines that can interface with biological organisms through biochemical interactions, as well as machines that self-organize into superstructures with mechanical, optical, and wetting properties that can be altered in real time. If these machines can be interfaced with electronics, then at the 10's of micron scale alone, semiconductor devices are small enough that we could put the computational power of the spaceship Voyager onto a machine that could be injected into the body. Such robots could have on board detectors, power sources, and processors that enable them to make decisions based on their local environment allowing them to be completely untethered from the outside world.

We are in search of a postdoctoral fellow that will make seminal advances critical for achieving this vision.

Our groups recently developed an atomic origami technology platform to create machines and robots at the cellular scale. We have demonstrated how to use 2D lithography to create bimorph based hinges that enable self-assembly of sheets into 3D structures. These 3D scaffolds are being integrated with electronics, optics, and chemical sensing to create a new generation of 3D machines with the potential for large scale lithographic fabrication.

Applicants should have a PhD, an excellent publication record, and a fearless attitude.

To Apply: send your CV, contact information of two references, and a brief description of research achievements to Professors Itai Cohen ( and Paul McEuen (