Synchrotron Surface and Interfacial Research/Staff Scientist

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Berkeley, California (US)
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December 11 2018
Organization Type

Synchrotron Surface and Interfacial Research/Staff Scientist - 85984

Organization: AL-Advanced Light Source

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Berkeley Lab’s Advanced Light Source (ALS, and Chemical Sciences (CSD, Divisions are seeking a Synchrotron Surface and Interfacial Research or Staff Scientist. This position is jointly supported by the ALS and CSD Divisions at LBNL.  As such this role will have two main responsibilities.  This role, requires the Scientist to contribute scientifically and technically to the ALS by supporting Ambient Pressure XPS (APXPS) beamline users, while establishing an independent interfacial chemistry research program in the Chemical Sciences Division.  The current science areas of the Condensed Phase and Interfacial Molecular Science (CPIMS, program include solvation in heterogeneous environments and chemical transformations at or near aqueous interfaces. 

The successful candidate will assist with experiment selection, proposal writing, data acquisition, data analysis/interpretation, and publications. This position will allow you to work creatively in multidisciplinary teams (both in ALS and CSD), while playing a lead role in the maintenance and ongoing development of the state-of-the-art APXPS beamlines and associated instrumentation. This multifaceted position requires highly developed analytical skills, initiative, and independence needed to impact the ALS's organizational goals and to deliver impactful scientific research results in CSD. This position will be filled at the Research Scientist or Staff Scientist (Career-Track) level depending on experience. Classification will depend upon the applicant's level of skills, knowledge, and abilities. This position is posted in conjunction with the Chemical Sciences Division Req #85992.

The ALS is a U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science national scientific user facility whose excellent scientific reputation, expert staff, and capabilities in the soft x-ray, hard x-ray, and infrared regimes attract more than 2,000 academic and industrial users each year in disciplines spanning physical, chemical, materials, biological, energy, and Earth sciences. It is one of five Berkeley Lab user facilities that serve a combined 11,000 users annually. The co-location of these user facilities – including the Molecular Foundry Nanoscale Science Research Center and the NERSC scientific computing center, as well as Berkeley Lab's outstanding programs in materials and chemical sciences among others – offers a prime environment for collaborative science. The ALS has been a global leader in soft x-ray science for more than two decades and is currently undertaking a new project (ALS-U) that will endow the facility with state-of-the-art x-ray capabilities. It's an exciting time to join our growing team!

The core values of the Advanced Light Source & Chemical Sciences Divisions reflect a strong commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. We seek candidates that would support a culture where all ALS staff feel welcomed and valued. For those who hold roles as supervisors, an ongoing commitment to recruiting a vibrant, diverse and talented workforce is paramount to promoting a diverse lab community.

This position will be hired at a level commensurate with the business needs; and skills, knowledge, and abilities of the successful candidate.

What You Will Do:

  • Provide scientific and technical expertise for state-of-the-art synchrotron ambient pressure X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (APXPS) beamlines and their research programs at the Advanced Light Source (ALS) and the Chemical Sciences Division.
  • Work closely with the members of the ALS APXPS Program group members and users to operate, maintain, and develop the APXPS beamlines and their associated instrumentation.
  • Work collaboratively with members of CSD's CPIMS program to conduct and publish original research aimed at uncovering the governing principles of reactivity at interfaces.
  • Provide a high level of user support for the operations of the beamlines in the pursuit of user research, while demonstrating and leading by example safe work practices. Provide remote and in-person assistance to users when necessary.
  • Lead and collaborate in surface and interface research within the APXPS and CPIMS Program teams in both science and instrumentation development, and engage in collaborative research with user groups as appropriate. 
  • Participate in and assume responsibility for R&D projects crucial to achieving ALS organizational objectives.
  • In collaboration with Scientists in CSD, develop your own scientific program in CPIMS utilizing APXPS.
  • Perform safety and supervisory duties at the APXPS beamlines.
  • Perform outreach to new users in coordination with the ALS User Office, as a member of the APXPS Program, and an ALS Science Thrust. 
  • Participate and engage in a science thrust area(s)
  • Participate in Department of Energy scientific reviews in ALS and CSD.
  • Disseminate the results of the above efforts through internal and external presentations, publications, international conferences, and seminars at the level expected of a professional scientist.

In addition to the above, Staff Scientist Specific Responsibilities:

  • Lead an established research program supported by CSD's CPIMS core research program to understand surface and interfacial chemistry with the use of Ambient Pressure X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy (APXPS).
  • Lead the R&D effort in further developing new capabilities for APXPS and its integration of new multi-modal techniques such as IR spectroscopy, x-ray photoelectron correlation spectroscopy, computation/theory, etc.

What is Required:

  • Ph.D. or equivalent experience in physics, chemistry, materials science, or a related field. Significant years of experience beyond customary highest degree appropriate to the discipline.
  • Experience or knowledge of analyzing surface properties of materials with APXPS.
  • A proven track record of publishing results in peer reviewed journals.
  • Highly developed analytical and quantitative skills, initiative, and independence.
  • Strong experiment and experimental design skills, in particular to aid user experimental preparation.
  • Experience designing, troubleshooting, and supporting novel and custom experimental spectroscopic systems and equipment.
  • Experience collaborating in a diverse multidisciplinary team environment and excellent interpersonal skills.
  • Ability to interact with a variety of technical and scientific personnel with varied academic backgrounds.
  • Strong and effective oral and written communication skills for documentation of beamline operations and for summarizing, presenting, and publishing the results of R&D projects both internally and externally. 

Desired Qualifications:

  • Experience working at a synchrotron APXPS beamline and supporting/working with users in a dynamic environment.
  • Experience in XPS analysis.
  • Experience in vacuum techniques, equipment maintenance, and instrumentation design.
  • Experience and interest in combining APXPS with other X-ray and non-X-ray techniques to help pioneer new multimodal approaches to studying transformations at interfaces (e.g. liquids).

In addition to the above, Staff Scientist Specific Qualifications:

  • Extensive experience working at a synchrotron APXPS or comparable beamline and supporting/working with users in a dynamic environment.
  • Extensive experience in XPS analysis or comparable/transferable techniques.
  • Extensive experience in vacuum techniques, equipment maintenance, and instrumentation design.
  • Advanced experience and interest in combining APXPS with other X-ray and non-X-ray techniques to help pioneer new multimodal scientific pursuits.
  • Demonstrated contribution to an established scientific research program with a proven track record for success in surface and interfacial science.

The posting shall remain open until the position is filled, however for full consideration, please apply by close of business on January 6, 2019.

To be considered please provide the following materials in your application:

  1. Curriculum Vitae​
  2. Cover letter (2-page maximum)
  3. A research, science, and/or user program vision statement (2-page maximum)


  • This is a full time, 2 year, career-track term appointment that may be renewed to a maximum of five years and that may be converted to career based upon satisfactory job performance, continuing availability of funds, and ongoing operational needs. This position will be filled at the Career or Career-Track level depending on experience
  • Full-time, M-F, exempt (monthly paid) from overtime pay.
  • This position may be subject to a background check. Any convictions will be evaluated to determine if they directly relate to the responsibilities and requirements of the position. Having a conviction history will not automatically disqualify an applicant from being considered for employment.
  • Work will be primarily performed at: Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, 1 Cyclotron Road, Berkeley, CA.

How To Apply

Apply directly online at and follow the on-line instructions to complete the application process.

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