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Postdoctoral Research Associate - Machine Learning-guided Scanning Tunneling Microscopy

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Date: Nov 7, 2020

Location: Oak Ridge, TN, US, 37830

Company: Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Requisition Id 4059 


The Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences (CNMS) is seeking a Postdoctoral Research Associate for performing machine learning-guided scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) experiments on quantum materials. You will be expected to perform low temperatures high magnetic field STM measurements and to actively participate in the ongoing effort to automate the STM experiments. The research will be carried out in close collaboration with data science/machine learning and theory groups at CNMS to advance our research on developing ‘smart instruments’. This position resides in the Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences division, Physical Sciences Directorate (PSD) at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL).

Major Duties/Responsibilities: 

  • Perform low temperatures high magnetic field STM measurements on different quantum materials (superconductors, Weyl semimetals, etc.)
  • Analyze data using the in-house developed software packages such as AtomAI and GPim.
  • Work with theory and machine learning groups at ORNL to deploy the AI/ML algorithms on the STM instrument(s).
  • Work as part of a diverse team maintaining a high level of scientific productivity.
  • Present and report key 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 Physics, Chemistry, Materials Science or closely related field completed within the last 5 years

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Hands-on experience with ultra-high vacuum and low temperature STM measurements
  • Basic proficiency in Python programming and familiarity with basic data science techniques (e.g. clustering, dimensionality reduction)
  • Hands-on experience with instrumentation development
  • Familiarity with modern machine learning algorithms such as deep neural networks
  • Experience with LabView programming language.
  • An excellent record of productive research demonstrated by publications in peer-reviewed journals
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills and the ability to communicate in English to an international scientific audience
  • Ability to set priorities, multi-task and adapt to ever changing needs with the proven ability to function well in a fast-paced environment  
  • Capability for innovative research with minimal supervision and the ability to work collaboratively in a team environment and interact effectively with a broad range of colleagues

Special Requirements

The appointment length will be up to 24 months with the potential for extension. Initial appointments and extensions are subject to performance and availability of funding.

Please provide a list of publications when applying for this position.  Three letters of reference are required and can be uploaded to your profile or emailed directly to  Please include the title of the position in the subject line.


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.

If you have trouble applying for a position, please email

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.

Nearest Major Market: Knoxville