Share this Job

Postdoctoral Research Associate - Microscopy of Catalysts

Date: Oct 18, 2021

Location: Oak Ridge, TN, US, 37830

Company: Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Requisition Id 5914 



We are seeking a Postdoctoral Research Associate to focus on the microstructural evolution of catalytic materials at the micro, nano and atomic scale level, investigate the morphological changes of catalysts during their “life-cycle,” and work with a team to develop advanced electron microscopy analysis methods. While this position is based in our Materials MicroÅnalysis Group (MMÅ) group, you will collaborate with a diverse group of experimentalists, theorists, and data scientists across different organizations within Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). This position resides within the Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences (CNMS), Physical Sciences Directorate at ORNL.


As a postdoc, you will primarily support a biotechnologies catalyst project while advancing data acquisition and data analysis methods for electron microscopy. Your research will focus on analyzing structural changes within catalyst nanoparticles and correlate structure, porosity, and compositional changes with applied synthesis and other applied treatments/reactions. This work will include novel in situ microscopy experiments including environmental exposures (in gases) and heating.  You will use aberration-corrected scanning transmission electron microscopy (STEM) imaging and analytical microscopy techniques, such as electron energy loss spectroscopy (EELS) and energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS). You will also work with a multidisciplinary research team to develop and implement characterization techniques and in situ experiments suitable for catalyst and quantitative data analytic methods to determine the factors that govern catalytic processes at the atomic level.


Major Duties/Responsibilities: 


  • Conduct nanomaterials research using analytical STEM methods, which will focus on the characterization of catalysts after/during exposure to various conditions (e.g., fresh, conditioned, spent)
  • Work with other microscopy staff to develop advanced data acquisition and data analysis methods using high speed cameras, pixelated STEM detectors, and Python coding.
  • Coordinate and compare in situ microscopy studies with theory/modeling/lab-scale data
  • Publish work in high-impact journals in a timely manner
  • Present and report research results in 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.


Basic Qualifications:


  •  A PhD in physics, materials science, chemistry or closely related discipline completed within the last 5 years
  • Background in STEM analytical techniques and aberration-corrected STEM


Preferred Qualifications:


  • Strong background in high resolution aberration-corrected STEM imaging, EELS, and STEM data acquisition/processing
  • Experience with focus ion beam milling (FIB) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM)
  • Experience with Python coding
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills and the ability to communicate to an international, scientific audience
  • Excellent record of productive and creative research as demonstrated by publications in peer-reviewed journals
  • 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


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.


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.

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