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Postdoctoral Research Associate – Surface Integration of Self-Assembled Materials

Job ID JR100620 Date posted 10/31/2023

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.


The CFN is seeking an exceptional postdoctoral researcher to work on the synthesis of DNA-scaffolded structures and their incorporation into functional surfaces for bio-templated sensing and electronic devices. In this role, you will build on recent advances achieved at the CFN in building complex nano-architectures synthesized through DNA-based assembly to enable prescribed, directed 3D structure growth on surfaces with spatial material versatility. This cutting-edge project will make use of automated synthesis platforms, particularly microdroplet patterning, to drive high-throughput experimentation and characterization. Beyond surface-mediated assembly, you will investigate the electronic and optical properties of the resulting structures as well as conduct in-depth structural characterization for the purpose of integrating these bottom-up assembly methods into functional devices, such as sensors.

Your research will involve developing instrumentation and processes for patterning surface micro-reactions, synthesizing and processing DNA-based nanostructures, nanoparticle functionalization and inorganic templating, and characterization of resulting structures via biochemical methods, electronic testing, optical spectroscopy, electron microscopy, and x-ray scattering and imaging. Due the interdisciplinary nature of the research, you will collaborate closely with researchers across different backgrounds to develop a productive workflow between lithographically patterned surfaces, prescribed material growth, characterization, and device testing. You will carry out your work on this project under the mentorship of CFN scientist Jason Kahn within the Soft and Bio Nanomaterials group.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

As the postdoctoral researcher, you will have these roles and responsibilities:

  • You will develop strategies for the high-throughput synthesis of iterative surface micro-reactions based in solution microdroplets

  • You will develop strategies for the synthesis of DNA-scaffolded material frameworks on surfaces towards functional sensing and electronic devices

  • You will characterize structural, electronic, optical, and other properties of synthesized materials and fabricated devices

  • You will perform high-throughput experimental design of nanoscale biomolecular materials and integrated devices and analyze the data to corroborate and support research findings

  • You will collaborate with researchers and users with a broad range of interests as well as present and publish the results of this research to the broader scientific community


Required Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:

You are qualified for this role if:

  • You have earned a Ph.D. in material science, chemistry, biology, physics, chemical engineering, biomedical engineering or a related discipline within the past five years or will complete this degree prior to starting the position

  • You possess hands-on experience in assembly and characterization of different types of material systems, preferably at the nanoscale

  • You have performed nanoscale characterization, particularly using methods such as SEM and TEM but possibly including AFM, x-ray scattering, x-ray imaging, or advanced optical microscopy

  • You communicate effectively by writing scientific papers and verbally by giving clear technical presentations

  • You are committed to working safely in the laboratory and fostering an environment of safe-work practices

Preferred Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

You are well-matched to this position if: 

  • You collaborative effectively within a team to tackle challenging science problems, while also working independently on your broadly defined research objectives

  • You have hands-on experience in building instrumentation and experimental systems

  • You have integrated molecular synthesis and assembly methods into functional devices

  • You have a working knowledge of Python as well as experience with software tools and computational packages for data analysis

  • You have experience with nano/micro-technology methods such as nanofabrication, micro-reactors/micro-reactions, and microfluidics


  • 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

Brookhaven Laboratory is committed to providing fair, equitable and competitive compensation. The full salary range for this position is $68,400.00 - $113,250.00 /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:

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