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Postdoctoral - Materials Characterization

Job ID 1419 Date posted 08/24/2018


Brookhaven National Laboratory is a multipurpose research institution funded primarily by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science. Located on the center of Long Island, New York, Brookhaven Lab brings world-class facilities and expertise to the most exciting and important questions in basic and applied science—from the birth of our universe to the sustainable energy technology of tomorrow. We operate cutting-edge large-scale facilities for studies in physics, chemistry, biology, medicine, applied science, and a wide range of advanced technologies. The Laboratory's almost 3,000 scientists, engineers, and support staff are joined each year by more than 4,000 visiting researchers from around the world. Our award-winning history, including seven Nobel Prizes, stretches back to 1947, and we continue to unravel mysteries from the nanoscale to the cosmic scale, and everything in between. Brookhaven is operated and managed by Brookhaven Science Associates, which was founded by the Research Foundation for the State University of New York on behalf of Stony Brook University, and Battelle, a nonprofit applied science and technology organization.



The Energy Frontier Research Center (EFRC) on Molten Salts in an Extreme Environment (MSEE) was recently funded at BNL. Liquid molten salts (MS) are found as solvents of the fuel constituents and/or coolants in nuclear reactor technology. Due to their nature as ionic fluids, MS have structural and dynamical correlations distinct from those of uncharged molecular or atomic liquids. The scientific mission of MSEE is to provide fundamental atomic-level understanding of bulk and interfacial molten salts.  The Center will measure and predict the local and intermediate-range interactions, the structures and dynamics of molten salts in the bulk and at interfaces. Specifically, the Center will develop and use in situ synchrotron x-ray spectroscopy, scattering and imaging techniques to understand interfacial and corrosion processes in MSEE. X-ray measurements will be integrated with modeling approaches i) to provide fundamental new information on surface ordering and dynamics of MS and ii) to understand and predict non-equilibrium, metastable states formed during the reactions at interfaces.

The position is in the Materials in a Radiation Environment (MRE) Program Office in the Nuclear Science and Technology Department at BNL. The mission of the MRE program office is to increase access to synchrotron characterization techniques to researchers studying materials for nuclear energy applications. The MRE Program Office uses BNL’s unique experimental infrastructures and supports a large user community dedicated to materials science for advanced nuclear reactors and extending the life of existing reactors.



The successful candidate will participate in collaborative research across synchrotron beamlines to characterize the MS/solid material interface. The position entails all aspects of experimental design for MS from sample handling, hardware design, data collection and data analysis and interpretation. The primary responsibilities of this position are to design environment chambers, develop experimental protocols for MS at the synchrotron and for electron microscopy, and to perform measurements on MS systems. Other responsibilities include collaborating with beamline staff and computational scientists to perform advanced, integrative data analysis.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Design, develop, fabricate and commission hardware for electrochemical experiments and in situ electrochemical synchrotron and microscopy experiments.
  • Perform synchrotron experiments (x-ray diffraction, reflectivity and spectroscopy) on molten salt systems with and without actinides
  • Participate in translating the experimental results into new scientific knowledge through the use advanced data analysis techniques
  • Work on manuscript preparation
  • Develop and maintain safe practices and working conditions



Required Knowledge, Skills and Abilities: 

  • Ph.D. in chemistry, physics, material science or a related field
  • Experience with operation of scientific instrumentation for materials characterization
  • Experience with experimental or hardware design
  • Familiarity with some of these techniques is required: Synchrotron X-ray diffraction, reflectivity, spectroscopy or imaging.
  • Ability to work in a team environment and self-motivated 
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills

Preferred Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

  • Knowledge/publication record in electrochemistry
  • Experience in advanced data analysis software and techniques for some X-ray techniques (X-ray diffraction, reflectivity, spectroscopy or imaging)
  • Experience in hardware design for electrochemical experiments
  • Experience in handling radioactive material

Other Information:

BNL policy requires that research associate appointments be made to individuals who have received their doctorate within the past 5 years.

Occasional travel
Occasional shift and weekend work for supporting x-ray data collection

Environmental, Health, and Safety Considerations

Must be willing to handle small quantites of radioactive material


At Brookhaven National Laboratory we believe that a comprehensive employee benefits program is an important and meaningful part of the compensation employees receive. Our benefits program includes but it not limited to:

 Medical Plans

 Vacation

 Holidays

 Dental Plans

 Life Insurance

 401(k) Plan

 Swimming Pool, Weight Room, Tennis Courts, and many other employee perks and benefits.


We invite you to consider Brookhaven National Laboratory for employment. To be considered for this position, please apply online at BNL Careers and enter the job title into the Keyword Search.

Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL) is an equal opportunity employer 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.

BNL takes affirmative action in support of its policy and to advance in employment individuals who are minorities, women, protected veterans, and individuals with disabilities.

*VEVRAA Federal Contractor

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