Postdoctoral Research Associate - Crystal Engineering

Date: Nov 30, 2023

Location: Oak Ridge, TN, US, 37830

Company: Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Requisition Id 10716 


We are seeking a Postdoctoral Research Associate who will focus on crystal engineering and structural, thermodynamic, and kinetic investigation of new crystalline materials for separation of ions relevant to energy and the environment, and for CO2 capture. This position resides in the Chemical Separations Group in the Chemical Sciences Division (CSD), Physical Sciences Directorate (PSD) at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL).


As part of the Chemical Separations Group, you will have the opportunity to work with a multidisciplinary team comprising specialists in organic and polymer synthesis, coordination chemistry, thermodynamics, laser spectroscopy, materials characterization, separations, computational chemistry, and radiochemistry. Additionally, you will have the opportunity to collaborate with chemical and mechanical engineers to develop carbon capture technologies. Our labs house state-of-the-art instruments including a single-crystal X-ray diffractometer, triple-quad ICP mass spectrometer, solution, and solid-state NMR spectrometers, ReactRaman spectrometer, potentiometric titrators, and ultrafast laser systems. It is expected that you will publish your research accomplishments in high impact journals and present them at national meetings.


Major Duties/Responsibilities: 

  • Perform crystallization experiments targeting anion separation and CO2 capture
  • Use a variety of characterization methods to monitor reactions involving crystals, including NMR, Raman, FT-IR, TGA, DSC, UV-Vis, potentiometric and coulometric titrations, single-crystal X-ray diffraction, and PXRD
  • Perform data analysis and mechanistic studies of crystal formation and decomposition
  • Participate in project planning and execution
  • Present and report research results at group meetings and national conferences
  • Publish scientific results in high-impact peer-reviewed journals in a timely manner
  • Ensure compliance with environment, safety, health, and quality program requirements
  • Maintain strong dedication to the implementation and perpetuation of values and ethics
  • Deliver ORNL’s mission by aligning behaviors, priorities, and interactions with our core values of Impact, Integrity, Teamwork, Safety, and Service. Promote diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility by fostering a respectful workplace – in how we treat one another, work together, and measure success.


Basic Qualifications:

  • A PhD in chemistry, chemical engineering, or a related field completed within the last 5 years
  • A strong background in synthesis and crystallization of organic compounds, and their analysis by X-ray diffraction


Preferred Qualifications:

  • Experience with characterization of organic compounds (e.g., NMR, UV-Vis, FT-IR, and Raman spectroscopies), and thermal analysis (TGA, DSC)
  • Experience with process design and optimization
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills
  • 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 provide a list of publications when applying for this position.


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.


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  • 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.


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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.

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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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