General Lab Information

Alexei Tkachenko

Physicist, Theory/Computation, Center for Functional Nanomaterials

Alexei Tkachenko

Brookhaven National Laboratory

Center for Functional Nanomaterials
Bldg. 735, Room 2017
P.O. Box 5000
Upton, NY 11973-5000

(631) 344-2130

Expertise | Research | Education | Appointments | Publications | Highlights | Video


Statistical Physics, Theoretical Soft Condensed Matter, Self-Assembly, Molecular Dynamics and Monte Carlo Simulations

Research Activities

By combining analytical methods of statistical physics with computer simulations Dr. Tkachenko explores the area of Programmable Self-Assembly. His other interests span across various fields of statistical mechanics, condensed matter, and bio-inspired physics, from Entropic Phenomena to  Origins of Life, and (motivated by recent events) Epidemic Modeling.  


1993  - B.Sc/M.Sc in Theoretical Physics,  Moscow Institute of Science and Technology, Russia

1998 - Ph. D in Physics, Bar-Ilan University, Israel

Professional Appointments

Current: Physicist / Material Scientist  , Center for Functional Nanomaterials, Brookhaven National Laboratory 

Adjunct Professor, Dept. of Physics and astronomy, Stony Brook University 

2001-2009 Assistant Professor of Physics, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

1999-2001 Postdoctoral member of technical staff, Bell Labs, Lucent Technologies

1997-1999 JFI Postdoctoral Fellow,  University of Chicago

Selected Publications

  • Tkachenko AV, Maslov S, Elbanna A, Wong GN, Weiner ZJ, Goldenfeld N (2021) Time-dependent heterogeneity leads to transient suppression of the COVID-19 epidemic, not herd immunity. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 118:e2015972118. doi: 10.1073/pnas.2015972118
  • Kudella PW, Tkachenko AV, Salditt A, Maslov S, Braun D (2021) Structured sequences emerge from random pool when replicated by templated ligation. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 118:e2018830118. doi: 10.1073/pnas.2018830118
  • Wendt D, Bozin E, Neuefeind J, Page K, Ku W, Wang L, Fultz B, Tkachenko AV, Zaliznyak IA (2019) Entropic elasticity and negative thermal expansion in a simple cubic crystal. Science Advances. doi: 10.1126/sciadv.aay2748
  • Tkachenko AV, Maslov S (2018) Onset of natural selection in populations of autocatalytic heteropolymers. The Journal of Chemical Physics 149:134901. doi: 10.1063/1.5048488
  • Tkachenko AV (2016) Generic phase diagram of binary superlattices. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 113:10269–10274. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1525358113
  • Liu W, Tagawa M, Xin HL, Wang T, Emamy H, Li H, Yager KG, Starr FW, Tkachenko AV, Gang O (2016) Diamond family of nanoparticle superlattices. Science 351:582–586. doi: 10.1126/science.aad2080
  • Halverson JD, Tkachenko AV (2013) DNA-programmed mesoscopic architecture. Physical Review E. doi: 10.1103/physreve.87.062310
  • Dreyfus R, Leunissen ME, Sha R, Tkachenko AV, Seeman NC, Pine DJ, Chaikin PM (2009) Simple Quantitative Model for the Reversible Association of DNA Coated Colloids. Physical Review Letters. doi: 10.1103/physrevlett.102.048301
  • Licata NA, Tkachenko AV (2008) Kinetic Limitations of Cooperativity-Based Drug Delivery Systems. Physical Review Letters. doi: 10.1103/physrevlett.100.158102
  • Sander LM, Tkachenko AV (2004) Kinetic Pinning and Biological Antifreezes. Physical Review Letters. doi: 10.1103/physrevlett.93.128102
  • Tkachenko AV (2002) Morphological Diversity of DNA-Colloidal Self-Assembly. Physical Review Letters. doi: 10.1103/physrevlett.89.148303
  • Aizenberg J, Tkachenko A, Weiner S, Addadi L, Hendler G (2001) Calcitic microlenses as part of the photoreceptor system in brittlestars. Nature 412:819–822. doi: 10.1038/35090573
  • Josserand C, Tkachenko AV, Mueth DM, Jaeger HM (2000) Memory Effects in Granular Materials. Physical Review Letters 85:3632–3635. doi: 10.1103/physrevlett.85.3632
  • Tkachenko AV, Witten TA (1999) Stress propagation through frictionless granular material. Physical Review E 60:687–696. doi: 10.1103/physreve.60.687

Research Highlights

Suppression of COVID-19 Waves Reflects Time-Dependent Social Activity, Not Herd Immunity

The Secret Behind Crystals that Shrink when Heated

New Polymer Model Helps Explain the Origins of Life

A General Model Explains Binary Nanoparticle Assembly

DNA Shaping Up to be Ideal Framework for Rationally Designed Nanostructures

Scientists Guide Gold Nanoparticles to Form "Diamond" Superlattices

New Computer Model Could Explain how Simple Molecules Took First Step Toward Life

Resolving the Internal Structure of Nanoparticle Dimers Linked by DNA

DNA-Guided Assembly Yields Novel Ribbon-Like Nanostructures

Brookhaven Researchers Use Weekends to Teach Math and Physics at SchoolNova

Expanding the Degrees of Surface Freezing

Featured Video

  • Empire State Building & Pyramids Self-assemble from Nanoparicles

    August 16, 2013

    This is a computer simulation that shows how a complex nanoscale structure can build itself (self-assemble) out of nanoparticles with short DNA molecules attached to them. In this particular case, we engineered a couple of nano-replicas of the Empire State Building and Egyptian Pyramids. The sequences and positions of DNA molecules "program" the overall architecture and the whole construction process. Important Disclaimer: this is a computer model, it will take some time for the actual experiments to catch up. This video illustrates the research project by Drs. Alexei Tkachenko and Jonathan Halverson at the Brookhaven National Laboratory. More technical detail can be found in recent paper, "DNA-programmed mesoscopic architecture", Phys. Rev. E 87, 062310 (2013)

Simulated DNA-based programmable self-assembly of nanoparticles into "Empire State Building" and "Nanopyramid".

Alexei Tkachenko

Brookhaven National Laboratory

Center for Functional Nanomaterials
Bldg. 735, Room 2017
P.O. Box 5000
Upton, NY 11973-5000

(631) 344-2130

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