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Postdoctoral Research Associate - Scanning Tunneling Microscopy for Topological Quantum Materials

Date: Mar 20, 2021

Location: Oak Ridge, TN, US, 37831

Company: Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Requisition Id 4322 


We are seeking a Postdoctoral Research Associate who will focus on research in quantum materials.  This position resides in the Scanning Tunneling Microscopy Group in the Nanomaterials Characterization Section, Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences, at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL).  


As part of our research team, you will contribute to research in quantum materials including topological insulators, 2D atomic layers, and other atomic wires and structures that exhibit exotic electronic and magnetic behaviors. Your work in experimental science will employ Scanning Tunneling Microscopy (STM) including low-temperature, high-field STM and cryogenic Four-Probe STM, combined with molecular beam epitaxy growth for STM imaging, spectroscopy, and transport measurements. This research encourages development of your experience and scientific vision.


This position is supported by the Department of Energy Quantum Science Center, a National Quantum Information Science Research Center. Postdoctoral research associates appointed to the Quantum Science Center will engage with a network of universities, national laboratories, and industry to overcome key roadblocks in quantum state resilience, controllability, and ultimately the scalability of quantum technologies to realize the quantum future.


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 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


Basic Qualifications:

  • A PhD in Condensed Matter Physics, Materials Science, or a closely related field, completed within the last five years
  • Demonstrated experience with STM


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 characterization using surface analytical techniques
  • A background in instrument development and detailed understanding of SPM equipment
  • 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
  • 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


Special Requirements:

 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.


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.


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