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Postdoctoral Research Associate -Surface Science of PFAS

Job ID JR101115 Date posted 04/22/2024

The National Synchrotron Light Source-II (NSLS-II), a U.S. DOE Office of Science User Facility operated for the DOE Office of Science by Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL), is seeking exceptional candidates for a postdoctoral position. The position is in the Complex Scattering Program. The work will make extensive use of the liquid interface scattering at the Soft Matter Interfaces (SMI) beamline of NSLS-II using a variety of X-ray scattering techniques, including grazing-incidence small- and wide-angle scattering (GISAXS/GIWAXS), and X-ray reflectivity along with X-ray fluorescence methods. 


The successful candidate will join our effort to investigate monolayers of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), commonly referred to as “forever chemicals”. The investigation will use X-ray scattering, optical spectroscopy, tensiometry, and rheometry methods to understand the molecular structure and behavior of self-assembled PFAS monolayers at liquid interfaces in the presence of different ions and surfactants. The results of these studies will enhance the basic scientific understanding of interfacial structure-property relationships in fluorinated surfactants and enable improved methods for removal of PFAS from contaminated waters via sub-surface bubbling. The X-ray scattering measurements will take advantage of the unique synchrotron-based liquid surface spectrometer (only 2 in the US) at NSLS-II and the development of novel tender (2.05-5 keV) resonant X-ray liquid surface scattering. This work will be complemented by optical spectroscopy measurements carried out at BNL’s Center for Functional Nanomaterials (CFN). The candidate will collaborate with researchers at NSLS-II, CFN and universities. 

Brookhaven National Laboratory and the Energy and Photon Sciences Directorate are committed to your success. We offer a supportive work environment and the resources necessary for you to succeed.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

In this position, you will have the following roles and responsibilities:
• Perform experimental design, data collection and analysis from in situ liquid surface X-ray scattering experiments at NSLS-II.
• Collaborate to develop and commission novel tender X-ray liquid scattering and optical spectroscopy capabilities.
• Perform spectroscopy (IR and Raman, etc.) measurements. 
• Conduct surface tension, surface adsorption, and rheology measurements using lab-based tensiometers.

Required Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:

You are qualified for this Research Associate position if:
• You earned a PhD in Chemistry, Chemical Engineering, Environmental Engineering, Material Science, Physics, or a related science or engineering discipline within the past five years or will complete this degree prior to starting the position.
• You are committed to creative and independent research, teamwork, and fostering an environment of safe scientific work practices.
• You have excellent oral and written communication skills.
• You have a proven track record of publications in peer-reviewed journals and conference presentations.

Preferred Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:

You are well-matched to this position if you have some of the following:
• You have experience with PFAS detection, fate and transport, separation, or destruction.
• You have work experience in the field of surfactant science.
• You have experience with grazing-incidence X-ray scattering, and/or X-ray reflectivity.
• You have demonstrated experience with least-squares data fitting.
• You have knowledge of Python or other scientific programming languages.
• You have hands-on experience with commissioning, operating, and/or maintaining complex scientific instrumentation.

  •  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 $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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