Postdoctoral Research Associate - Quantum Materials

Job Description

Requisition Id 10411 


Oak Ridge National Laboratory is the largest US Department of Energy science and energy laboratory, conducting basic and applied research to deliver transformative solutions to compelling problems in energy and security.


We are seeking a Postdoctoral Research Associate who will support the Correlated Electron Materials Group within the Materials Science and Technology Division (MSTD), Physical Sciences Directorate (PSD). The Postdoctoral Research Associate will help advance our understanding of quantum materials (particularly in quantum magnetism) by using materials synthesis and characterization coupled with neutron scattering techniques. The core scientific aim of the project is to understand how frustration and competing interactions influence collective quantum and topological states of matter. Some topics of interest include complex multi-Q magnetic ground states including skyrmions and other complex spin textures and the renormalization of magnon spectra by quantum interactions; the relevant materials range lanthanides to transition metal compounds, including metals and insulators. As a postdoc, will have the opportunity to collaborate with Andrew May and Andrew Christianson, as well as researchers from diverse backgrounds, including condensed matter theorists and scientists performing neutron diffraction and scattering at the Spallation Neutron Source (SNS) and the High Flux Isotope Reactor (HFIR).


Major Duties/Responsibilities: 

As part of our team, your will lead and support efforts to understand various collective phenomena in quantum materials. You will perform the synthesis (including single crystal growth) and characterization of a variety of known and novel materials. You will drive the project forward by indentify promising material systems and performing detailed experimental investigations. While you will be responsible for developing high-quality samples, you will also be expected o take part in neutron scattering experiments, especially neutron diffraction experiments. As such, this position provides the opportunity to make significant cotributions in the field of quantum materials while refining your existing experimental skills and developing new ones. 


Other Responsibilities

  • Present and report research results and publish scientific results in peer-reviewed journals in a timely fashion.
  • Keep an orderly and informative laboratory workspace and notebook.
  • Ensure compliance with environment, safety, health, and quality program requirements.
  • Maintain a strong dedication to the implementation and perpetuation of values and ethics.
  • Deliver ORNL’s mission by aligning behaviors, priorities, and interactions with our core values of Impact, Integrity, Teamwork, Safety, and Service. Promote diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility by fostering a respectful workplace – in how we treat one another, work together, and measure success.


Basic Qualifications:

  • A PhD in physics, applied physics, material science, chemistry, chemical or electrical engineering, or a related field completed within the last 5 years.
  • Background in experimental materials physics research, including materials synthesis, laboratory-based characterization and/or neutron scattering.


Preferred Qualifications:

  • Familiarity with the health and safety hazards associated with an experimental condensed matter laboratory that houses an extensive synthesis effort.
  • Experience with single crystal growth using molten fluxes, chemical vapor transport, directional solidification, and/or via optical floating zone furnaces.
  • Skilled in x-ray and/or neutron diffraction data collection and analysis.
  • Experience with characterization and analysis of thermodynamic properties, with an emphasis on magnetic behavior and characterization through AC and DC probes of the bulk magnetization and specific heat capacity.
  • Characterization and analysis of transport properties (electrical, thermal, galvanomagnetic, thermomagnetic, thermoelectric).
  • Experience writing user proposals for beam times at National Laboratory User Facilities.
  • Experience using National Laboratory User Facilities programs, particularly for diffraction, diffuse elastic scattering, or inelastic scattering experiments.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills.
  • Motivated self-starter with the ability to work independently and to participate creatively in collaborative teams across the laboratory.
  • Ability to function well in a fast-paced research environment, set priorities to accomplish multiple tasks within deadlines, and adapt to ever changing needs.


Please provide a list of publications when applying for this position.


Please submit three letters of reference when applying to this position. You can upload these directly to your application or have them sent to with the position title and number referenced in the subject line.


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  • Under the My Documents section, select Add a Document


Applicants cannot have received their Ph.D. more than five years prior to the date of application and must complete all degree requirements before starting their appointment. The appointment length will be for up to 24 months with the potential for extension. Initial appointments and extensions are subject to performance and the availability of funding.


Moving can be overwhelming and expensive. UT-Battelle offers a generous relocation package to ease the transition process. Domestic and international relocation assistance is available for certain positions. If invited to interview, be sure to ask your Recruiter (Talent Acquisition Partner) for details.

For more information about our benefits, working here, and living here, visit the “About” tab at


This position will remain open for a minimum of 5 days after which it will close when a qualified candidate is identified and/or hired.

We accept Word (.doc, .docx), Adobe (unsecured .pdf), Rich Text Format (.rtf), and HTML (.htm, .html) up to 5MB in size. Resumes from third party vendors will not be accepted; these resumes will be deleted and the candidates submitted will not be considered for employment.

If you have trouble applying for a position, please email

ORNL is an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants, including individuals with disabilities and protected veterans, are encouraged to apply.  UT-Battelle is an E-Verify employer.

Nearest Major Market: Knoxville

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