Postdoctoral Research Associate - Growth Mechanisms of 2D Materials & Nanomaterials

Date: Sep 11, 2023

Location: Oak Ridge, TN, US, 37830

Company: Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Requisition Id 10309 


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 Scholar who will focus on understanding the growth mechanisms of 2D materials and other nanomaterials using both laser and chemical vapor deposition (CVD) synthesis and processing techniques coupled with in situ diagnostic methods to characterize both the growth environment and the emerging nanomaterial structure. This position resides in the Functional Hybrid Nanomaterials Group, Nanomaterials Synthesis Section, at the Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences (CNMS), Physical Sciences Directorate, Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL).


As a postdoc, you will work within a research team that is focused on understanding and controlling the growth mechanisms of nanomaterials, bridging length scales from the nanoscale to the macroscale, and you will interact with other groups at the CNMS toward advancing autonomous synthesis. Several methods are employed, including traditional approaches such as CVD, but also novel, nonequilibrium approaches for bottom-up and top-down growth and doping, such as pulsed laser deposition (PLD) and laser processing within optical microscopy environments or within the TEM, where control over the kinetic energy of precursor species or pulsed photolytic processes are used to synthesize and process nanomaterials with metastable phases or states that are predicted to have novel functionalities.  The novel materials synthesized in this project will be collaboratively shared with a wide variety of microscopists, ultrafast spectroscopists, device experts, and quantum information scientists to explore their functionalities across a wide spectrum of capabilities being developed at ORNL.


Major Duties/Responsibilities: 

  • Utilize primarily PLD and other bottom-up growth methods available within the group to grow novel nanomaterials, predominantly atomically thin 2D materials, and employ typical methods for their transfer and characterization. 
  • Interface with members of the team such as those employing in situ laser processing in TEM/STEM to understand the atomistic growth mechanisms and phase transformations of 2D materials and theorists
  • Write and publish high-impact journal papers, and present results at technical conferences, for sponsors, and other audiences
  • Interact and collaborate across ORNL, with researchers from universities, DOE national laboratories and user research centers and private industry

Basic Qualifications:

Minimum Qualifications Required:

  • A Ph.D. degree in Physics, Engineering, Materials Science, Chemistry, or a related discipline completed within the last five years
  • Experience with the synthesis and characterization of 2D materials, other nanomaterials, or thin films.
  • Experience in experimental data acquisition and processing for materials’ assessment


Preferred Qualifications:

  • Experience in 2D materials synthesis, characterization, and transfer techniques
  • Experience in pulsed laser deposition and laser material interactions
  • Experience in time-resolved in situ (principally optical spectroscopy) diagnostics to characterize the growth conditions and nanomaterial structure in real time, including software development for automated data acquisition and analysis.
  • Experience with computer-aided data acquisition and equipment interfacing, preferably via Python, but also MATLAB, LabVIEW, Comsol, etc.
  • Strong communication (written and verbal) and interpersonal skills
  • Record of publications/patents relevant to the position
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills
  • Motivated self-starter with the ability to work independently and to participate creatively in collaborative teams
  • Ability to function well in a fast-paced research environment, set priorities to accomplish multiple tasks within deadlines, and adapt to ever changing needs


We are seeking a person with the ability to work well in a dynamic research environment, set priorities to accomplish multiple tasks within deadlines, and adapt to ever-changing research/programmatic needs. The candidate should have excellent written and oral communication skills and the ability to communicate in English to an international scientific audience. An excellent record of productive and creative research shown by publications in peer-reviewed journals will be positively considered.


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.


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.

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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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