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Post-Doctoral Research Associate for Advanced Scanning Transmission Electron Microscopy

Job ID JR101224 Date posted 06/14/2024

Organization Overview:

The Center for Functional Nanomaterials (CFN) at Brookhaven is a DOE-funded national scientific user facility, offering users a supported research experience with top-caliber scientists and access to state-of-the- art instrumentation. The CFN mission is advancing nanoscience through frontier fundamental research and technique development and is the nexus of a broad collaboration network. Each year, CFN staff members support the research of nearly 600 external facility users.

Three strategic nanoscience themes underlie the CFN scientific facilities: The CFN conducts research on nanomaterial synthesis by assembly designing precise architectures with targeted functionality by organizing nanoscale components. The CFN researches and applies platforms for state-of-the-art techniques for Accelerated Nanomaterial Discovery, integrating synthesis, advanced characterization, physical modeling, and computer science to iteratively explore a wide range of material parameters. The CFN develops and utilizes advanced capabilities for studies of Nanomaterials in Operando Conditions for characterizing materials and reactions at the atomic scale in real-world environments.

Position Description:

The CFN is seeking an exceptional Postdoctoral Research Associate to conduct research directed to developing state-of-the-art electron microscopy techniques particularly to probe amorphous materials based on two first-of-their-kind NION scanning transmission electron microscopes. In this postdoc position, you will be a member of the Electron Microscopy group and be mentored by scientists at CFN.  The Electron Microscopy Group is composed of seven permanent, scientific, and technical staff members and currently a set of four state-of-the-art electron microscopes. The Electron Microscopy Group is one of five scientific groups in the CFN, and supports the Electron Microscopy facility, which is the largest CFN scientific facility.  

The CFN is acquiring two new customized, ultra-high spatial resolution and ultra-high energy resolution scanning transmission electron microscope (STEM), which will have several first-of-their-kind capabilities.  Both instruments will have sub-angstrom spatial-resolution and sub-10meV energy-resolution of electron energy-loss spectroscopy (EELS) capabilities.  With expected installation in 2024, the first STEM will achieve 20 keV for beam-sensitive materials. It will have a secondary electron detector for surface imaging at the atomic scale, and hybrid-pixel detector for 4D-STEM. The second STEM will be an ultra-high vacuum environmental STEM with nine orders of magnitude pressure range with expected installation in 2025, for in situ and operando studies under gaseous conditions.

You will develop the Fluctuation Electron Microscopy (FEM) technique using most advanced STEMs at CFN. FEM is based on capturing electron nanodiffraction (4D-STEM) to determine the medium range order (of the length scale of nanometers) of amorphous oxides, including those relevant to quantum materials. Because of the sophistication of the instrumentation and the uniqueness of the instrument, you are expected to demonstrate your strong expertise, particularly through practical experience in operating aberration-corrected STEM. Preference is given to those with proficiency in utilizing the Nion microscopes and/or 4D-STEM technique.

This project is highly collaborative. We anticipate that you will work closely with CFN Electron Microscopy group members and computer scientists at Brookhaven. You will be professionally mentored by Dr. Judith Yang and Dr. Sooyeon Hwang and receive guidance from Prof. Paul Voyles (U. Wisconsin-Madison) and Prof. Murray Gibson (FAMU-FSU), who are leading experts and founders of Fluctuation Electron Microscopy. 

This position is an extraordinary research opportunity to apply techniques and develop instrumentation at the forefront of electron microscopy to reveal the fundamental properties of amorphous nanomaterials.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

As the post-doctoral research associate, you will have these roles and responsibilities:

  • You will contribute to a multidisciplinary project involving several DOE user facilities by using and developing STEM techniques and instrumentation.

  • You will develop FEM technique to quantitatively characterize amorphous materials, with high spatial and temporal resolution.

  • You will be part of a team performing experiments to lead the discovery of key physical processes emerging from the unique data in research areas such as quantum information science.

  • You will collaborate with scientific staff with diverse backgrounds, including data analytics, electron microscopy, modeling, materials theory, and nanofabrication.

  • You will carry out impactful nanomaterial research, publish papers, and give external presentations on your work.

Required Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:

You are qualified for this post-doc position if:

  • You have earned a Ph.D. in a relevant discipline (Materials Science, Physics, Chemistry, or a related engineering discipline) within the past five years or will complete your degree before the starting date.

  • You have demonstrated extensive experience with operating and developing monochromated, aberration-corrected scanning, high-resolution transmission electron microscopy.

  • You have demonstrated experience using and advancing data analytics and modeling, which may include using FEFF, Python or other modeling/programming languages. 

  • Your experience is demonstrated through publications, GitHub repository records, or other public communications.

  • You are committed to fostering an environment of safe scientific work practices.

  • You are committed to cultivating an inclusive and respectful workplace environment.

Preferred Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:

You are well-matched to this position if: 

  • You have demonstrated proficient hands-on experience in operating Nion aberration-corrected STEM.

  • You have demonstrated practical expertise in acquiring and interpreting images, EELS or diffraction for transmission electron microscopy, as well as proficiency in other advanced STEM techniques, such as 4D-STEM, as applied to amorphous materials.

  • You have familiarity with artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) methodologies and interested in advancing these tools for accelerating the analysis of the big data acquired by electron microscopy.

  • You work effectively in an interdisciplinary team to tackle challenging scientific problems, particularly the application of data analytics to understand experimental results.

  • You communicate effectively, verbally and in writing.

  • You are committed to disseminating your results through peer-reviewed publications, conference presentations/proceedings, and GitHub repository records or other public communications.

Other Information:

  • This is a 2-year Postdoc Assignment.

  • BNL policy requires that after obtaining a PhD, eligible candidates for research associate appointments may not exceed a combined total of 5 years of relevant work experience as a post- doc and/or in an R&D position, excluding time associated with family planning, military service, illness, or other life-changing events.

  • Position location is on-site in Upton, NY.

Brookhaven Laboratory is committed to providing fair, equitable and competitive compensation. The full salary range for this position is $70200 - $116200 / year. Salary offers will be commensurate with the final candidate’s qualification, education and experience and considered with the internal peer group.

Brookhaven employees are subject to restrictions related to participation in Foreign Government Talent Recruitment Programs, as defined and detailed in United States Department of Energy Order 486.1A. You will be asked to disclose any such participation at the time of hire for review by Brookhaven. The full text of the Order may be found at:

Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer

Brookhaven Science Associates is an equal opportunity employer that values inclusion and diversity at our Lab. We are committed to ensuring that all qualified applicants receive consideration for employment and will not be discriminated against on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age, status as a veteran, disability or any other federal, state or local protected class. BSA takes affirmative action in support of its policy and to advance in employment individuals who are minorities, women, protected veterans, and individuals with disabilities. We ensure that individuals with disabilities are provided reasonable accommodation to participate in the job application or interview process, to perform essential job functions, and to receive other benefits and privileges of employment. Please contact us to request accommodation.

*VEVRAA Federal Contractor

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