Pacific Northwest National Laboratory Post Doctorate RA - XPS in RICHLAND, Washington

Organization and Job ID

Job ID: 308578

Directorate: Physical & Computational Sciences

Division: Physical Sciences

Group: Geochemistry

Job Description

The Opportunity:

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) is a world-class research institution powered by a highly educated, diverse workforce committed to collaboration and work–life balance. Every year, scores of dynamic, driven postdocs come to PNNL to work with renowned researchers on meaningful science, innovations and outcomes for the U.S. Department of Energy and other sponsors; here is your chance to be one of them!

Contribute to PNNL’s goals in understanding the complex systems and phenomena vital to the nation's energy and environmental resources as part of the Lab’s Physical Sciences Division (PSD) and in close partnership with the Energy and Environment Directorate (EED). As a postdoctoral researcher in the Geochemistry group, you will join a talented, multi-investigator team to investigate the composition, structure, valence state, stability, and reactivity of various naturally occurring as well as precisely synthesized samples. You will be mentored by prominent researchers with a history of unique/novel rigorous applications of surface spectroscopy, including—Yingge Du, Mark Engelhard, Don Baer, Kevin Rosso, Zheming Wang, Sarah Saslow (EED), Carolyn Pearce (EED)—, as you develop a line of experimental research involving lab-based X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and synchrotron-based ambient pressure XPS (APXPS) to address critical questions in the areas of chemistry, geochemistry, and energy materials with an emphasis on the unique analysis of low-dose radioactive materials.

The Ideal Candidate:

If you are ready to test your talents and training in Physics, Materials, and/or Chemistry and hone your skills as a postdoctoral researcher at a national laboratory widely recognized for its work in the physical sciences, we want to connect with you. The ideal person has an interest in advancing measurement approaches and applying them to complex problems. Details are below; you do not need to meet all of the preferred qualifications to be considered.

What you will do:

• Conduct independent research and work on team assignments

• Design novel approaches using XPS and other surface sensitive tools to study complex problems

• Interact, communicate, and problem solve with a diverse team of research staff within the PSD, EMSL, EED and across PNNL

• Contribute as a team member to support publications and reports led by other scientists

• Lead manuscript development and maintain a strong overall publication record in the peer-reviewed scientific literature

• Present research at technical conferences and project/program review meetings

• Participate in the development of research proposals

PNNL is committed to diversity and inclusion; applications from women, minorities, individuals with disabilities, and veterans are strongly encouraged.

Email PNNL Recruiter Fred Bond at for details, or share this opportunity with someone you know today.

About PNNL:

At PNNL, you will find an exciting research environment and excellent benefits including health insurance, flexible work schedules and telework options. PNNL is located in eastern Washington State—the dry side of Washington known for its stellar outdoor recreation and affordable cost of living. The Lab’s campus is only a 45-minute flight (or 3 hour drive) from Seattle or Portland, and is serviced by the convenient PSC airport, connected to 8 major hubs.

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

A postdoctoral position is immediately available to investigate the complex processes occurring in condensed phases and at interfaces, with a strong emphasis on the use of advanced XPS resources at PNNL and associated DOE user facilities to study radioactive materials. Activities will be centered in research programs aiming at understanding the effects of composition, structure, defects, and additives on the physical and chemical properties of these systems.

The candidate will have ample access to a state-of-the-art Kratos AXIS Ultra DLD imaging XPS system that has been customized to handle environmentally sensitive as well as radioactive samples. A portion of the work (APXPS, up to 10%) is expected to be performed at the Advanced Light Source located at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. The candidate will gain valuable project management experience by interfacing with other scientists and external collaborators.

In-depth knowledge, practical experience, and a good publication record in performing detail-oriented XPS for advanced materials characterization. Hands-on experience with ultra-high vacuum systems and synchrotron based techniques is highly desirable. In addition, the candidate should possess functional knowledge of various complementary materials characterization methods such as AFM, SIMS, XRD, and/or synchrotron based techniques.

Strong verbal and written communications skills.

Demonstrated ability to process complex XPS data, such as peak assignment, charge referencing, peak fitting, and quantitative analysis.

Must be willing to and have the ability to use a glove box and handle radioactive samples. Understand and follow standard operating procedures and special work instructions related to sensitive and radioactive materials.

The postdoc will work in collaboration with a diverse group of scientists and technical staff across the Lab, and must be able to work closely and communicate effectively with experimentalist and computational modeling colleagues. The ability to adapt, refine, or innovate experimental tools as needed.

Be able to recognize abnormal operating conditions, correct and report to supervisor and warranty provider in a timely and responsible manner.

Provide direct support and field oversight of research activities involving XPS; Supervise and coordinate work from multiple projects. Keep accurate and legible operating records associated with assigned job

PhD in chemistry, physics, physical chemistry, geochemistry, materials science, nuclear sciences or related fields

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

Directorate: Physical & Computational Sci's

Job Category: Post-Graduates and Post-Docs

Group: Geochemistry

Opening Date: 2018-12-26

Closing Date: 2019-02-23