Postdoctoral Research Associate - Polarized Neutron Diffraction

Date: Sep 2, 2023

Location: Oak Ridge, TN, US, 37830

Company: Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Requisition Id 11303 


As a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science national laboratory, ORNL has an extraordinary 80-year history of solving the nation’s biggest problems. With a dedicated and creative staff of over 6,000 people, ORNL’s decadal vision for diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility (DEIA) is to cultivate an environment and practices that foster diversity in ideas and in the people across the organization, as well as to ensure ORNL is recognized as a workplace of choice. These elements are critical for enabling the execution of ORNL’s broader mission to accelerate scientific discoveries and their translation into energy, environment, and security solutions for the nation. 


Quantum material research using polarized neutrons, supported by US DOE Early Career Award program, in the Neutron Sciences Directorate (NScD) at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) seeks a Postdoctoral Research Associate to work on scientific projects to advance our understanding of quantum materials using neutron scattering techniques, especially polarized neutron diffraction and neutron Larmor diffraction. As a postdoctoral fellow, you will work as part of a team whose interests include, but not limited to geometrically frustrated magnets, topological magnets, and low dimensional magnets. Your core research will involve performing elastic, inelastic and polarized neutron measurements on single crystal samples using the world-leading instruments at the High Flux Isotope Reactor (HFIR) and Spallation Neutron Source (SNS) at ORNL. This position represents an excellent opportunity to study quantum matter in a stimulating multidisciplinary environment at ORNL.


Major Duties/Responsibilities: 

  • Perform neutron scattering experiments and analyze resulting data.
  • Publish scientific papers and present results from this research at national and international meetings as appropriate.
  • Contribute to the development of polarized neutron diffraction methods and other relevant neutron scattering techniques for quantum material studies.
  • Utilize ultra-high-resolution techniques to measure the lifetime of quasi-particle excitations over the entire Brillouin zone with μeV resolution, and high-intensity measurements of lattice constants with high resolution to investigate the lattice distortion induced by weak interactions. Some examples of current interest include superconductivity, multiferroicity, thermal electricity, and quantum criticality.
  • Deliver ORNL’s mission by aligning behaviors, priorities, and interactions with our core values of Impact, Integrity, Teamwork, Safety, and Service. Promote diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility by fostering a respectful workplace – in how we treat one another, work together, and measure success.


Basic Qualifications:

  • A PhD in physics, material science, solid chemistry, or a related field completed within the last 5 years


Preferred Qualifications:

  • Experience in single crystal neutron and/or X-ray diffraction and transport measurements.
  • Background in neutron scattering methods to study quantum materials.
  • Experience with Rietveld and/or inelastic analysis of neutron/X-ray data, especially single crystal neutron diffraction and polarized neutron diffraction.
  • A strong record of productive and creative research demonstrated by publications in peer-reviewed journals and presentations at scientific conferences.
  • Strong written and oral communication skills.
  • Self-motivated, with the ability to work within a multi-disciplinary team environment on scientifically challenging problems.


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.


Benefits at ORNL:  

ORNL offers competitive pay and benefits programs to attract and retain talented people. The laboratory offers many employee benefits, including medical and retirement plans and flexible work hours, to help you and your family live happy and healthy. Employee amenities such as on-site fitness, banking, and cafeteria facilities are also provided for convenience.

Other benefits include: Prescription Drug Plan, Dental Plan, Vision Plan, 401(k) Retirement Plan, Life Insurance, Pet Insurance, Generous Vacation and Holidays, Parental Leave, Legal Insurance with Identity Theft Protection, Employee Assistance Plan, Flexible Spending Accounts, Health Savings Accounts, Wellness Programs, Educational Assistance, Relocation Assistance, and Employee Discounts.


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