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Postdoctoral Research Associate - Neutron Scattering-Molten Salts

Date: Jan 12, 2021

Location: Oak Ridge, TN, US, 37831

Company: Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Requisition Id 4526 


The Nanomaterials Chemistry Group within the Chemical Sciences Division at ORNL currently has a postdoctoral position available for a physical or analytical chemist with expertise in neutron scattering for the measurement of structure and dynamics of high temperature molten salts and ionic liquids.  The primary focus will be on a fundamental understanding of structure and dynamics of molten salts. 


As a postdoctoral research associate, you will carry out x-ray and neutron scattering experiments into the structure and dynamics of liquid systems. This position resides in the Chemical Sciences Division, Nanomaterials Chemistry Group, in the Physical Sciences Directorate (PSD) at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) and is a part of research efforts funded by the Department of Energy, Basic Energy Sciences.


Major Duties/Responsibilities:

  • Design, plan, prepare user proposals and execute experiments at synchrotron and spallation/reactor neutron scattering facilities
  • Characterize the structure and dynamics of molten salts by x-ray and neutron scattering techniques
  • Analyze and model scattering data for liquids and porous materials
  • Collaborate with ORNL postdocs and staff who are involved in the synthesis and characterization of ionic liquids and 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 physical chemistry, analytical chemistry, physics or a closely related field, completed within the last five years.

Preferred Qualifications:
  • Background in measurements using pair distribution functions, diffraction, quasi-elastic neutron scattering, inelastic neutron scattering and small angle scattering
  • Experience in preparing user proposals for x-ray/neutron beam time
  • A background in x-ray absorption fine structure (XAFS) and extended x-ray absorption fine structure
  • Experience with molten salts or ionic liquids
  • Expertise in spectroscopic methods for molten salt characterization including FTIR, UV-Vis and Raman spectroscopy
  • An excellent track record of productive and creative research demonstrated by publications in peer-reviewed journals
  • Excellent written, oral, and interpersonal skills, as well as the ability to communicate in English to an international scientific audience
  • Motivated and safety conscious
  • Able to work independently and collaboratively
  • Able to set priorities, multi-task, and adapt to ever-changing needs  


Special requirements:

Appointments will initially be up to 24 months with the possibility of an extension of up to 12 months. 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