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Postdoctoral Research Associate - Molten Salt Chemistry

Date: Sep 16, 2022

Location: Oak Ridge, TN, US, 37830

Company: Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Requisition Id 8849 


Oak Ridge National Laboratory is the largest US Department of Energy science and energy laboratory, conducting basic and applied research to deliver transformative solutions to compelling problems in energy and security.


We are seeking a Postdoctoral Research Associate who will support the Nanomaterials Chemistry Group in the Chemical Sciences Division (CSD), Physical Sciences Directorate (PSD) at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) and is part of the research efforts in a project funded by the DOE Office of Nuclear Energy. The Postdoctoral Research Associate will have experience in inorganic, physical, or analytical chemistry with an expertise in molten-salt chemistry for development of new molten salt systems targeted to the applications in advanced high-temperature coolants and liquid nuclear fuels. The primary focus will be on the synthesis and purification of new molten salt systems and their correlation to performance.  The results will be utilized to scale up an efficient high-temperature processes. The program will have a strong collaborative component with nuclear chemistry, separation, and computational scientists working at ORNL.



As a postdoctoral research associate, you will carry out the investigation into the preparation and physical chemistry of molten salts for recycling of battery materials and nuclear reactor applications.


Major Duties/Responsibilities: 

  • Synthesize molten salts.
  • Conduct electrochemistry in molten-salt media
  • Evaluate the performance of nanofluidic molten salts
  • Characterize the thermodynamic properties of molten salts
  • Development of scale-up strategies
  • Collaborate with ORNL postdocs and staff who are involved in the synthesis and characterization of molten salts
  • Participate in the development of new ideas and projects
  • Present and report research results and publish scientific results in peer-reviewed journals in a timely manner
  • Ensure compliance with environment, safety, health, and quality program requirements
  • Maintain strong commitment to the implementation and perpetuation of values and ethics


Basic Qualifications:

  • A PhD in inorganic, physical, or analytical chemistry, or a related field completed within the last 5 years


Preferred Qualifications:

  • A strong background in inorganic, physical, or analytical chemistry 
  • Experience with nanoparticles
  • Expertise in standard purification methods and characterization by the standard tools including NMR, FTIR, mass spectrometry, etc. 
  • An excellent track record of productive and creative research demonstrated by publications in peer-reviewed journals
  • Excellent written, oral, and interpersonal skills, as well as the ability to communicate in English to an international scientific audience
  • Safety conscious
  • Able to work independently and collaboratively
  • Able to set priorities, multi-task, and adapt to ever-changing needs as well as the proven ability to function well in a fast-paced environment
  • Motivated self-starter with the ability to work independently and to participate creatively in collaborative teams across the laboratory 
  • Ability to function well in a fast-paced research environment, set priorities to accomplish multiple tasks within deadlines, and adapt to ever changing needs


Please submit three letters of reference when applying to this position. You can upload these directly to your application or have them sent to with the position title and number referenced in the subject line.


Instructions to upload documents to your candidate profile:

  • Login to your account via
  • View Profile
  • Under the My Documents section, select Add a Document


Applicants cannot have received their Ph.D. more than five years prior to the date of application and must complete all degree requirements before starting their appointment. The appointment length will be for up to 24 months with the potential for extension. Initial appointments and extensions are subject to performance and the availability of funding.


Moving can be overwhelming and expensive. UT-Battelle offers a generous relocation package to ease the transition process. Domestic and international relocation assistance is available for certain positions. If invited to interview, be sure to ask your Recruiter (Talent Acquisition Partner) for details.

For more information about our benefits, working here, and living here, visit the “About” tab at


This position will remain open for a minimum of 5 days after which it will close when a qualified candidate is identified and/or hired.

We accept Word (.doc, .docx), Adobe (unsecured .pdf), Rich Text Format (.rtf), and HTML (.htm, .html) up to 5MB in size. Resumes from third party vendors will not be accepted; these resumes will be deleted and the candidates submitted will not be considered for employment.

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ORNL is an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants, including individuals with disabilities and protected veterans, are encouraged to apply.  UT-Battelle is an E-Verify employer.

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