Share this Job

Postdoctoral Research Associate - Molten Salt Chemistry

Date: Jan 12, 2021

Location: Oak Ridge, TN, US, 37831

Company: Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Requisition Id 4527 


We are seeking a postdoctoral research associate who will focus on the preparation and physical chemistry of molten salts for nuclear reactor applications.  This position resides in the Nanomaterials Chemistry Group in the Separations and Polymer Chemistry Section, Chemical Sciences Division, Physical Sciences Directorate at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL).  


We are seeking an inorganic or physical chemist with 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 process. The program will have a strong collaborative component with nuclear chemistry, separation, and computational scientists working at ORNL.


Major Duties/Responsibilities: 

  • Synthesize molten salts and nanoparticles.
  • 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, or physical chemistry or a related discipline, completed within the last five years.



Preferred Qualifications:

  • A strong background in inorganic, physical, or analytical chemistry
  • Experience with molten salt synthesis and characterization as well as nanoparticle synthesis
  • Expertise in standard purification methods and characterization by the standard tools including NMR, FTIR, mass spectrometry, etc. 
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills with a track record of productive and creative research 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


Special Requirements

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


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.


Please provide a list of publications when applying for this position.


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