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Postdoctoral Research Associate (Postdoc)

Job ID 2912 Date posted 11/19/2021

Brookhaven National Laboratory ( delivers discovery science and transformative technology to power and secure the nation’s future. Brookhaven Lab is a multidisciplinary laboratory with seven Nobel Prize-winning discoveries, 37 R&D 100 Awards, and more than 70 years of pioneering research. The Lab is primarily supported by the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Science. Brookhaven Science Associates (BSA) operates and manages the Laboratory for DOE. BSA is a partnership between Battelle and The Research Foundation for the State University of New York on behalf of Stony Brook University. BSA salutes our veterans and active military members with careers that leverage the skills and unique experience they gained while serving our country. Our organization fully supports service members transitioning from active duty to civilian life and pledge’s our commitment to actively hire veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces. Military personnel who have been formally trained or have relevant experience obtained while in service may meet educational requirements and are encouraged to apply for job opportunities at BSA.

Organizational Overview

The mission of the Collider-Accelerator Department (C-AD), is to operate, maintain, improve, and upgrade the suite of electron, proton, and heavy ion accelerators used to carry out a program of accelerator-based experiments at Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL). To support this program, the C-AD must design, fabricate, assemble, test, install, and operate unique research equipment to generate, transport, transfer, accelerate, focus, track, collide, and absorb high intensity particle beams up to energies of 250 GeV.  This includes a combination of custom designed and built parts and vendor produced components developed by a collaboration of the C-AD scientific, engineering, and technical staff. The C-AD supports an international user community of over 1,500 scientists. The C-AD performs all these functions in an environmentally-responsible and safe manner, under a rigorous conduct of operations approach.

Position Description

The Collider-Accelerator Department has an opening for a two-year Postdoctoral Research Associate on Thin Film Photocathode Growth for accelerator and applications. You will work on custom Ultra-High Vacuum (UHV) systems for growth of photocathodes, operate these systems to develop photocathodes for RHIC operation and the future EIC operation, and perform quality testing of the fabricated films. This program will involve electron diffraction and x-ray analysis of the photocathode thin films, to determine film epitaxy, thickness, roughness, crystal structure and stoichiometry at synchrotron facilities. The position may require occasional work of off-hours/shifts to meet experimental requirements.  This position has a high level of interaction with an international and multicultural scientific community.

Position Requirements

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Perform research and experiments  with scientists and other technical staff to produce photocathodes thin films using custom UHV tools, essentially at a synchrotron facility
  • Operate the RHEED (Reflection high-energy electron diffraction) system for thin film growth and characterization
  • Analyze XRF, XRD, and XRR data to understand thin film properties
  • Write synchrotron beam time proposals and scientific manuscripts
  • Document and disseminate research results through publications and conduct research presentations at meetings and conferences
  • Maintain and operate vacuum deposition tools
  • Maintain a safe and respectful workplace environment 

Required Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:

  • PhD in Physics, Chemistry or Materials Science
  • Ability to work closely with Scientists and Engineers on specialized assignments
  • Experience with UHV and thin film deposition techniques
  • Clear and concise oral, written, and presentation skills

Preferred Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:

  • Experience with RHEED (Reflection high-energy electron diffraction) systems for thin film analysis
  • Experience with synchrotron x-ray experiments for thin film analysis
  • Knowledge of process control software like Labview
  • Experience in photocathode growth
  • Experience with optical measurement techniques

Environmental, Health & Safety Requirements:

  • Will require radiation training and very occasional work in a radiological controlled area
  • Will require the ability to lift 15 lbs., and to stand for an hour


  • Initial 2-year term appointment subject to renewal contingent on performance and funding
  • 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

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 is not limited to:

  • Medical, Dental, and Vision Care Plans
  • Flexible Spending Accounts
  • Paid Time-off and Leave Programs (vacation, holidays, sick leave, paid parental leave)
  • 401(k) Plan
  • Flexible Work Arrangements
  • Tuition Assistance, Training and Professional Development Programs
  • Employee Fitness/Wellness & Recreation:  Gym/Basketball Courts, Weight Room, Fitness Classes, Indoor Pool, Tennis Courts, Sports Clubs/Activities (Basketball, Ping Pong, Softball, Tennis)

Brookhaven Science Associates requires proof of a COVID-19 vaccination for all employees.Proof of full vaccination as recognized by the CDC and/or WHO, inclusive of the two-week waiting period, is required either by November 17, 2021 or at the start of your employment if after November 17, 2021.

Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL) 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.

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.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

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:

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