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Postdoc Research Associate - Self-Assembly for Optical Applications

Job ID 1836 Date posted 08/08/2019

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 CFN 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 more than 550 external facility users.

Three strategic nanoscience themes underlie the CFN scientific facilities: The CFN fosters research on complex self-assembly processes, for building new ways of constructing Self-Assembled Nanomaterials by Design. The CFN supports state-of-the-art techniques for designing Nano-Architectures to improve the performance of materials. The CFN develops and provides advanced capabilities for studies of Nanomaterials in Operando Conditions, for characterizing materials and reactions at the atomic scale in real-world environments.

The CFN seeks an exceptional postdoctoral researcher to design and characterize nanotextured surfaces with novel properties, which they will make using thin film self-assembly techniques. In this role, you will will build upon recent advances achieved at the CFN in extending the size-scale and complexity of nano-architectures synthesized through block copolymer self-assembly in order to create materials with novel optical properties such as heat reflecting windows, spectrally selective absorbers/emitters, or tunable structural coloration for displays. Beyond optical properties, you will also investigate adjacent electrical, thermal, and wetting properties of these materials to explore their potential multifunctionality.

Your research will involve preparing and processing of self-assembling polymers and their subsequent application to nanofabrication; characterization of the resultant material structure via electron or scanning probe microscopy and X-ray scattering; and detailed characterization of the functional properties (optical, electrical, thermal, etc.) of the as-synthesized materials. Importantly, you will work independently under a broadly defined research direction, and will collaborate with researchers and users with diverse backgrounds to develop new materials with targeted functionality. To achieve your goals, you will leverage the world-class suite of nanoscience tools available at the CFN and benefit from expertise of CFN staff whom you will work with closely. Ultimately, your research will engender innovative and unique applications of self-assembly in the production of optical and multifunctional materials. You will carry out your work on this project under the mentorship of Gregory Doerk.

Key Responsibilities:

  • You will develop strategies for the synthesis of thin film coatings and surface nanotextures with targeted optical properties using self-assembly and nanofabrication techniques like thin film deposition and plasma etching

  • You will characterize optical, electrical, thermal, and other properties of synthesized materials in detail

  • You will perform calculations to corroborate and support research findings

  • You will collaborate with researchers and users with a broad range of interests

Required Knowledge, Skills, & Abilities:

You are qualified for this position if:

  • You have earned a Ph.D. in material science, chemistry, physics, chemical 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 synthesizing and characterizing optical materials

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

  • You communicate effectively, both verbally and through technical writing

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

Preferred Knowledge, Skills, & Abilities:

You are well-matched to this position if:

  • You are familiar with thin film self-assembly methods, especially using block copolymers, and associated characterization tools (e.g. SEM, AFM, SAXS)

  • You have experience with thin film nanofabrication (e.g. physical vapor deposition, reactive ion etching, atomic layer deposition)

  • You have experience with programming languages used in data analysis (e.g. Python, Matlab)

  • You have experience with use of optical simulation software like Lumerical, Comsol, or similar.

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.

At Brookhaven Lab, we believe comprehensive employee benefits are a meaningful part of employee compensation. Our benefits program includes:

  • Medical Plans
  • Vacations
  • Holidays
  • Dental Plans
  • Life Insurance
  • 401(k) Plan
  • On site swimming pool, weight room tennis courts, and other employee benefits

We invite you to consider working at Brookhaven Lab. To be considered for this position, apply online at and click Jobs, then sort by job ID and apply.

Brookhaven National Laboratory is an equal opportunity employer committed to ensuring that you receive full consideration for employment. No one will be discriminated against on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, age, disability, or protected veteran status.

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 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

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 486.1. 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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