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Postdoctoral Research Associate - Solid Electrolyte Chemistry

Date: Jun 11, 2021

Location: Oak Ridge, TN, US, 37830

Company: Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Requisition Id 5842 



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 post doctoral researcher focused on the nucleation, growth, and processing science of solid ceramic ion conductors. This position resides in the Energy Storage Membrane Materials Group in the Chemical Sciences Division (X060), Physical Sciences Directorate (PSD) at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) but will involve close (daily) collaborations with scientists/team members across the laboratory.  Potential candidates are expected to contribute to the development unique science directions, in collaboration with the Team and sponsoring organizations.  Furthermore, the position requires collaborating and interacting with staff at ORNL’s Battery Manufacturing Facility located at the National Transportation Research Center, the Spallation Neutron Source on Chestnut Ridge, and within the Physical Sciences Directorate at ORNL.  This position will support the laboratories mission of world leading energy storage science and delivering solutions to pressing energy storage problems essential to economic develop and security of the United States




Applicants are expected to perform experiments to understand the synthesis of solid electrolytes.  The candidate will make extensive use of physical vapor deposition and traditional solid state synthesis methods AND state-of-the-art scattering methods (both X-ray and neutrons) including Pair distribution function analysis along with detailed electrochemical measurements related to transport and interfacial stability to understand the nucleation and growth and transport properties of solid ceramic ion conductors.  Other characterization studies will be implemented as appropriate for the materials including resistivity, photoelectron spectroscopy, ion transport, and NMR.  Applicants will be expected to compose or participate in the composition of reports and peer reviewed publications. As part of our research team, the candidate will be expected to collaborate across a variety of projects related to vehicle, grid, and space batteries.  In addition, the applicant will be expected to engage with the team and develop/improve suitable laboratory procedures and aspects related to safety and best practices. 




  • Solid state synthesis of ceramic ion conductors
  • Physical vapor deposition
  • Chemical analysis
  • Structure characterization using ex and in situ scattering along with analysis of this data
  • Perform characterization studies of battery materials
  • Coordinate research with other team members inside and outside ORNL
  • Design and evaluate special cells required for in situ studies
  • Work with sponsors to achieve project goals and deliverables
  • Present and report research results and publish scientific results in peer-reviewed journals in a timely manner
  • Ensure compliance with environment, safety, health and quality program requirements
  • Maintain strong dedication to the implementation and perpetuation of values and ethics




  • A PhD in Chemistry, Physics, Materials Science or related fields completed within the last 5 years.
  •  Experience with nucleation and growth of ceramics




  • Experience with ceramic and materials synthesis
  • Experience with vacuum system-based deposition processes
  • Analytical chemistry background
  • Basis knowledge of battery chemistry
  • Valid driver’s license or the ability to obtain a driver license within 10 days of arriving to operate DOE vehicles on-site.
  • An excellent record of productive and creative research as demonstrated by publications in peer-reviewed journals, patents or commercial products
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills and the ability to communicate in English to an international scientific audience
  • Motivated self-starter with the ability to work independently and to participate creatively in collaborative and frequently interacting teams of researchers 
  • Ability to function well in a fast-paced research environment, set priorities to accomplish multiple tasks within deadlines, and adapt to ever changing needs


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.


Moving can be overwhelming and expensive. UT-Battelle offers a generous relocation package to ease the transition process. Domestic and international relocation assistance is available for certain positions. If invited to interview, be sure to ask your Recruiter (Talent Acquisition Partner) for details.

For more information about our benefits, working here, and living here, visit the “About” tab at


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.

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