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Postdoctoral Research Associate - Neutron Scattering Studies of Quantum Materials

Date: Aug 3, 2022

Location: Oak Ridge, TN, US, 3830

Company: Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Requisition Id 8382 


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 Associate who will support the Correlated Electron Materials Group, Correlated Quantum Materials Section, in the Materials Science and Technology Division (MSTD), Physical Sciences Directorate (PSD) at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). The Postdoctoral Research Associate will help advance our understanding of quantum materials through experimental neutron scattering studies. The core scientific aims of the project are to understand how frustration and competing interactions influence quantum magnetism, to identify and understand novel spin textures such as skyrmions, and to study excited states with topological character.  As a postdoc, you will have the opportunity to drive the project forward by identifying and pursuing promising avenues of study and to utilize the world class neutron scattering facilities at ORNL.  The team approach relies on collaborations with researchers from diverse backgrounds, including condensed matter theorists and scientists performing neutron scattering and various spectroscopies/microscopies.


Major Duties/Responsibilities:

As part of our team, you will perform experiments and analyze data to understand various phenomena in quantum materials.  The team members have strong skills in neutron scattering, materials synthesis, laboratory-based characterization, and theory.  The ideal candidate will be expected to lead neutron scattering measurement efforts to characterize the fundamental magnetic properties of quantum materials, develop an understanding of their underlying physics, and tune them toward their most interesting ground states and behaviors. This position offers the opportunity to develop and master the suite of neutron scattering techniques used to study quantum materials including neutron diffraction to determine crystal and magnetic structures, small angle neutron scattering to study spin textures, and inelastic neutron scattering to study excited states. This position therefore provides the opportunity to make significant contributions in the field of quantum materials while refining your existing experimental skills and developing new ones.


Other Responsibilities

  • Present and report research results and publish scientific papers in peer-reviewed journals in a timely fashion
  • Write proposals to obtain beam time
  • Keep an orderly and informative laboratory workspace and notebook
  • Ensure compliance with environment, safety, health, and quality program requirements
  • Maintain a strong dedication to the implementation and perpetuation of values and ethics


Basic Qualifications:

  • A PhD in physics, applied physics, material science, or a related discipline completed within the last five years


Preferred Qualifications:

  • Experience with neutron and/or x-ray scattering methods as applied in condensed matter systems.
  • A demonstrated ability to apply complementary characterization techniques to understand the nature and origins of correlated and/or topological phenomena
  • Skilled in neutron scattering studies of bulk magnetic systems
  • Experience using National Laboratory User Facility programs, particularly for diffraction, diffuse elastic scattering, or inelastic neutron scattering experiments
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills
  • 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


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.


Instructions to upload documents to your candidate profile:

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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.


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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.