Share this Job

Senior Neutron Optics & Polarization Scientist

Date: Nov 14, 2021

Location: Oak Ridge, TN, US, 37831

Company: Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Requisition Id 4592 


The Neutron Optics and Polarization Group within the Neutron Technologies Division at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) is looking for a Senior Neutron Optics and Polarization Scientist.  The mission of this group is to develop new devices and new instrumental capabilities that employ neutron polarization, deploy these devices at our scattering instruments, and to support the day-to-day operation of our instruments with state-of-the-art technologies in the areas of neutron polarization, polarization analysis, and neutron optical components.  Our research interests fall into these areas: developing new neutron polarization techniques, Larmor labeling methods, developing new instrument concepts, and neutron optics. 

Active projects within the group include

  • Development of a portable High-Tc based spherical neutron polarimetry device
  • Development of Dynamic Nuclear Polarization of hydrogen in samples, such as proteins
  • Operation and further development of Wollaston prism devices for Larmor labeling
  • Continuing development of in situ spin exchange optical pumping of 3He for neutron polarizers

The group operates two development beamlines at the High Flux Isotope Reactor, and maintains laboratories to support the neutron optics, 3He polarization, and dynamic nuclear polarization efforts.


As a Senior Neutron Optics and Polarization Scientist, you will join a team of R&D scientists and students who develop new devices and techniques for manipulating neutron beams and their polarization state, and who provide operational support of these new capabilities at ORNL’s High Flux Isotope Reactor (HFIR) and Spallation Neutron Source (SNS).  You will lead design, testing and operation of neutron optics and neutron polarization apparatuses.  Interfacing with other teams, you will work with neutron instrument scientists and engineers from across the Neutron Sciences directorate who will lean on your expertise in finding solutions for their scientific or engineering requirements.


Major Duties and Responsibilities: 

  • Conduct scientific research in neutron optics and neutron polarization.
  • Develop new polarized neutron techniques for scattering instruments at HFIR and SNS.
  • Participate in the operation of the cold neutron optics test beam lines at HFIR.
  • Support, along with other members of the group, development and routine operation of polarization devices, including 3He polarization filters.
  • Participate in the development of new Larmor methods to improve the resolution and extend the time and length scales that neutrons can probe.
  • Collaborate with internal and external scientists on neutron scattering experiments.
  • Contribute to the development of new instrument concepts that make use of polarized beams, and instrument upgrades at HFIR, the First Target Station (FTS) at SNS and the Second Target Station (STS) project at SNS.
  • Publish results in scientific journals, conference proceedings and ORNL technical reports as appropriate.
  • Maintain a strong commitment to the implementation and perpetuation of laboratory values and ethics.
  • Ensure and monitor compliance with environment, safety, health, and quality program requirements.  Promptly identify ESH and QA issues and communicate them to project and division management, ESH and QA contacts, and/or subcontractor contacts as appropriate.
  • As a member of the ORNL scientific community, you will be expected to commit to ORNL's Research Code of Conduct.  Our full code of conduct, and a statement by the Lab Director's office can be found here:


Basic Qualifications:

  • A Ph.D. in Physics, Chemistry, Materials Science, or a related field.
  • At least 10 years of post-doctoral experience in neutron scattering science.
  • A general understanding of neutron scattering instruments (elastic, inelastic) and neutron optical transport technology.
  • Demonstrated success in working with a multi-disciplinary team in a dynamic research environment.
  • A strong record of scientific publication.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills.


Preferred Qualifications:

  • A record of operational experience in neutron polarization methods (3He, supermirror, or crystal optics), applications of polarized neutrons, or optical methods (crystal or mirror) in support of neutron scattering instrumentation.
  • Post-doctoral experience in supporting a neutron user program.
  • Experience with spherical neutron polarimetry and Larmor labeling techniques.


Other Requirements:

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


About Neutron Sciences Directorate:

The Neutron Sciences Directorate (NScD) at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) operates the High Flux Isotope Reactor (HFIR), the United States’ highest flux reactor-based neutron source, and the Spallation Neutron Source (SNS), the world’s most intense pulsed accelerator-based neutron source.  Together these facilities operate 30 instruments for neutron scattering research, each year carrying out in excess of 1,000 experiments in the physical, chemical, materials, biological and medical sciences for more than 3,000 visiting scientists.  HFIR also provides unique facilities for isotope production and neutron irradiation.  To learn more about Neutron Sciences at ORNL go to


Benefits at ORNL:

UT-Battelle offers a quality benefits package, including a matching 401(k), contributory pension plan, paid vacation, and medical/dental plan options.  Onsite amenities include a credit union, medical clinic, cafeteria, coffee stands, and fitness facilities.



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.

Nearest Major Market: Knoxville