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Pacific Northwest National Laboratory Post Doctorate RA Research Physicist – Superconducting Device Physics for QIS in RICHLAND, Washington

Organization and Job ID

Job ID: 312618

Directorate: National Security

Division: Signature Sciences and Technology

Group:Detection Physics

Job Description

PNNL is seeking outstanding post-doctoral candidates to contribute to our quantum information science (QIS) research focused on superconducting sensors and low-temperature device physics. The Detection Physics Group is pursuing several experimental efforts to study energy transduction in quantum devices at the intersections between QIS and high-energy and nuclear physics. The appointee will play a leading role in designing, simulating, and performing experiments to measure production and coupling of phonons and quasiparticles in devices instrumented with superconducting sensors (e.g., qubits, kinetic inductance sensors, transition-edge sensors), including opportunities for development of new sensor technologies and scientific applications. PNNL is currently operating an above-ground dilution refrigerator and is pursuing construction of a radiation-shielded dilution-refrigerator facility in our Shallow Underground Laboratory. Both systems will provide the capability to operate devices under well-controlled conditions.

The Detection Physics Group is engaged in a broad research program ranging from fundamental physics, such as experimental searches for dark matter and neutrinoless double-beta decay, to ultra-sensitive nuclear measurements for national security applications in radiation detection. The selected researchers may also contribute to our group’s broader programs, assisting with the cross-pollination of new methods and technologies relevant to both basic and applied research. This cross-disciplinary, entrepreneurial environment is a strength that the Detection Physics Group has fostered and maintained over multiple decades.

Candidates may have varied experience and focus. Areas of particular interest include operation of superconducting sensors in a dilution refrigerator, detector simulations, and condensed matter modeling. Synergistic areas of interest across our research portfolio include data analysis, detector prototyping, low radioactive background techniques, quantum computation, and high-performance computing techniques. Work on these projects may include travel to collaborating institutions.

Applicants are expected to demonstrate unique technical strengths applicable to the above listed research efforts and to present a compelling vision for their contributions. Excellent communication and presentation skills are required, and preference will be given to candidates with a demonstrated ability to publish completed research.

Minimum Qualifications

Candidates must have received a PhD within the past five years (60 months) or within the next 8 months from an accredited college or university.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Preference will be given to candidates with technical expertise in one or more of the following areas:

  • Low-temperature systems : operation and instrumentation of cryogenic systems, including dilution refrigerators and vacuum systems.

  • Quantum sensors : instrumentation and operation of superconducting sensors (e.g., superconducting qubits, kinetic inductance detectors, or transition edge sensors).

  • Microwave electronics : experience instrumenting and reading out experiments with radiofrequency electronics.

  • Low-noise sensors : design of low-noise detector systems, with a strong background in characterization of environmental noise factors.

  • Useful areas of experience may include one or more of the following:

  • Software tools : prior experience with simulation, data analysis and coding packages such as Geant4, ROOT, C++, Python, Jupyter, or machine leaning techniques.

  • Level of Responsibility : both contributing and leading roles in experiment design, sensor development, experiment operations, data analysis, software development, and publication of scientific results.

  • Breadth of scientific knowledge : Quantum information science, condensed matter physics, microwave signals and electronics, particle physics and radiation transport.

Preferred Education

Ph.D. in nuclear/particle physics, condensed matter physics, quantum information science or a related field.

Special/Hazardous Working Conditions or Environment:

The low-radiation dilution refrigerator will be located in our Shallow Underground Laboratory, which is a class 10,000 clean room. Access to the space requires full-body cleanroom garb.

Equal Employment Opportunity

Battelle Memorial Institute (BMI) at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer and supports diversity in the workplace. All employment decisions are made without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, veteran status, marital or family status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or genetic information. All BMI staff must be able to demonstrate the legal right to work in the United States. BMI is an E-Verify employer. Learn more at

If you need assistance and/or a reasonable accommodation due to a disability during the application or the recruiting process, please send a request via

Please be aware that the Department of Energy (DOE) prohibits DOE employees and contractors from having any affiliation with the foreign government of a country DOE has identified as a “country of risk” without explicit approval by DOE and Battelle. If you are offered a position at PNNL and currently have any affiliation with the government of one of these countries you will be required to disclose this information and recuse yourself of that affiliation or receive approval from DOE and Battelle prior to your first day of employment.

Other Information

Due to business needs and client space, US Citizenship is required:

The Pacific Northwest National Laboratory is subject to the Department of Energy Unclassified Foreign Visits & Assignment Program site, information, technologies, and equipment access requirements.

Directorate: National Security

Job Category: Post-Graduates and Post-Docs

Group: Detection Physics

Opening Date: 2021-08-31

Closing Date: 2021-09-28