Postdoctoral Research Associate - STM of Quantum Materials

Date: Jan 25, 2024

Location: Oak Ridge, TN, US, 37830

Company: Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Requisition Id 12404 


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. We have a dedicated and creative staff of over 6,000 people! Our 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.


We are seeking a Postdoctoral Research Associate who will focus on atomistic understanding of the effects of reduced dimensionality and heterogeneities in quantum materials for quantum information science (QIS) applications.  This position resides in the Scanning Tunneling Microscopy Group in the Nanomaterials Characterization Section, Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences (CNMS), at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL).


As part of our research team, you will contribute to research in quantum materials including topological materials, magnetic materials, 2D atomic layers, and other atomic wires and ribbons that exhibit novel electronic and magnetic behaviors. Your experimental work will employ Scanning Tunneling Microscopy (STM), which will include studies using milli-Kelvin vector field STM and cryogenic 4-Probe STM, combined with molecular beam epitaxy growth for STM imaging, spectroscopy, manipulation, and transport. This research encourages development of your experience and scientific vision.


Major Duties/Responsibilities: 

  • Work as part of a dynamic team conducting basic research that advances our understanding of quantum materials
  • Conduct experimental research in ultrahigh vacuum (UHV) combining STM for characterization/manipulation and molecular beam epitaxy (MBE) for growth of low-dimensional materials and interfaces
  • Manage and operate state-of-the-art scanning probe microscopes
  • Perform data analysis and interpretation
  • Work with others to maintain a high level of scientific productivity
  • Present research and publish scientific results in peer-reviewed journals in a timely fashion
  • Ensure compliance with environment, safety, health, and quality program requirements
  • Maintain strong commitment to the implementation and perpetuation of values and ethics
  • 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 Condensed Matter Physics, Materials Science, or a related field completed within the last 5 years
  • Demonstrated experience with STM
  • Excellent interpersonal, oral, and written communication skills in English
  • Motivation to be safety conscious
  • A strong record of productive and creative research demonstrated by publications in peer-reviewed journals and presentations at scientific conferences
  • Capability for innovative research with minimal supervision and the ability to work collaboratively in a team environment and interact effectively with a broad range of colleagues


Preferred Qualifications:

  • A strong background in material science and condensed matter physics, including electronic structure, single-crystal characterization, and transport properties
  • Experience with atomically precise synthesis with on-surface chemical reactions and in situ atom/molecule manipulations using scanning probe techniques
  • A background in instrument development and detailed understanding of SPM equipment
  • 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:

  • Login to your account via
  • View Profile
  • 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.


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.


If you have difficulty using the online application system or need an accommodation to apply due to a disability, please email:



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