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Postdoctoral Research Associate -Polymer Characterization

Date: Jun 2, 2021

Location: Oak Ridge, TN, US, 37831

Company: Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Requisition Id 4578 


We are seeking a Postdoctoral Research Associate who will focus on preparation and characterization of polymeric membrane based composites for fundamental studies and practical applications in separation of various gases and molecules.  This position resides in the Soft Materials Group in the Chemical Sciences Division (CSD), Physical Sciences Directorate (PSD) with potential collaboration with Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences (CNMS) and Spallation Neutron Source (SNS) at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL).

The research will be focused on design, synthesis, and characterization of polymeric membrane and inorganic porous filler enforced polymer materials with outstanding separation performance that will be achieved through meticulous studies of the structure-property relationship. The research will require basic knowledge in polymer chemistry and extensive experience with membrane fabrication including preparation of polymer membrane with porous fillers. This research requires hands-on experience with various characterization techniques. These include characterization of diffusion and conductivity, structural characterization with X-ray and neutrons, mechanical characterizations, including tensile, DMA, and rheology test, and chemical characterization including Raman spectroscopy. Knowledge and skills to conduct data analytics is also preferred. This research will be complemented by collaborations and interactions with polymer chemists, physicists, and polymer engineers, X-ray and neutron scattering experts and computational chemists, whose research is also focused on polymer characterization, simulations and processing.


Major Duties/Responsibilities: 

  • Preparation and characterization of polymeric-based membranes.
  • Establishing a structure-property relationships in polymetric based materials using various techniques. This step includes characterization of chemistry, dynamics, structure, and mechanical properties of membranes.
  • Gas permeation measurements. 
  • Surface modification of inorganic porous fillers via elemental surface chemistry.
  • Responsible for presenting and reporting research results and publishing 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:

  • Ph.D. in Polymer Science and Engineering, Polymer Physics, Chemical Engineering, Materials Science and Engineering or closely related fields completed in the last 5 years


Preferred Qualifications:

  • Expertise in polymer characterization
  • Knowledge and expertise in dynamics, structural, mechanical, and chemical characterization of polymers
  • Basic knowledge in chemistry and some experience with polymer synthesis is preferred
  • Substantial experience with polymer-based membrane preparation, including experience with porous fillers like MOF and zeolite
  • Knowledge and expertise in molecular and gas transport
  • Knowledge and expertise in characterization techniques like SAXS/WAXS, Raman spectroscopy, AFM, SEM, TEM, rheology
  • Self-motivated, with the ability to work independently to accomplish project goals
  • Experience with data mining and exposure to data analytics
  • Participate creatively in solving problems and refining projects directions
  • Work collaboratively in a team environment and interact effectively with a broad range of colleagues
  • An excellent record of productive and creative research demonstrated by publications in peer-reviewed journals
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills
  • Safety conscious


Additional Information:
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.


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


WORK DIRECTION AND INTERFACES:  Position reports to the Group Leader of the Soft Materials Group and interfaces with administrative staff, managers and visitors to ORNL.


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