Postdoctoral Appointee - Spectroscopy Characterization

Sandia National Laboratories
Livermore, California
February 08 2019
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Postdoctoral Appointee - Spectroscopy Characterization

This postdoctoral position is a temporary position for up to one year, which may be renewed at Sandia's discretion up to five additional years. The PhD must have been conferred within five years prior to employment.

Individuals in postdoctoral positions may bid on regular Sandia positions as internal candidates, and in some cases may be converted to regular career positions during their term if warranted by ongoing operational needs, continuing availability of funds, and satisfactory job performance.

We are seeking a Postdoctoral Appointee to perform advanced electron microscope-based spectroscopic and imaging research and development of hydrogen storage and hydrogen generating materials.

On any given day, you will:

  • Contribute to progress of understanding the electronic structure changes that occur during oxidation and reduction of hydrogen generation electrode materials used in low-temperature electrolysis, high-temperature electrolysis, and solar thermochemical production of hydrogen.
  • Perform high-resolution electron energy loss spectroscopy characterization (EELS) and analysis to understand the electronic structure of material electrodes used for hydrogen generation as part of the EERE H2 AWSM program.
  • Utilize the probe-corrected, monochromated, 300kV FEI Titan Themis Z located at Sandia CA, and will also contribute other characterization and analysis methods including but not limited to x-ray diffraction, scanning electron microscopy, and electrochemical characterization.
  • Work in a multidisciplinary environment that will provide opportunities for collaboration with specialists in a wide range of experimental techniques and materials modeling approaches.
  • Responsible for conducting rigorous and innovative microscopic analyses, bringing deep materials expertise to the selected problems, and documenting research findings in the form of external, peer-reviewed journal publications.

Please provide a CV that includes a list of publications and contact information for at least three references and a cover letter (2-page maximum) addressing your qualifications for this position and research interests.

Department Description:

The Energy Nanomaterials Department is a research organization specializing in the synthesis and characterization of nanomaterials for energy and national security applications. Projects and capabilities in the department's research portfolio include nanoporous materials (such as Metal Organic Frameworks (MOFs) and porous inorganic materials) for sensing, catalysis, energy harvesting, and gas storage; materials for energy and hydrogen storage in both the gaseous and solid state; thermoelectric; and nanoscale materials characterization (including extensive electron microscopy, atomic force microscopy, and nanoindentation instrumentation). This organization supports a broad set of large analytic equipment critical to the operations of the CA site. The department is a key element in a diverse set of Materials Science organizations and resources, managed both locally and across the corporation. We partner broadly with other personnel within Sandia and many external institutions, taking advantage of our proximity to other researchers and facilities in the San Francisco Bay Area and Northern California. The Microscopy Metallography team functions within the Energy Nanomaterials department and provides support for materials R&D and materials characterization services using metallographic sample preparation equipment and electron- and optical-based characterization methods.

About Sandia:

Sandia National Laboratories is the nation’s premier science and engineering lab for national security and technology innovation, with teams of specialists focused on cutting-edge work in a broad array of areas. Some of the main reasons we love our jobs:

  • Challenging work with amazing impact that contributes to security, peace, and freedom worldwide
  • Extraordinary co-workers
  • Some of the best tools, equipment, and research facilities in the world
  • Career advancement and enrichment opportunities
  • Flexible schedules, generous vacations, strong medical and other benefits, competitive 401k, learning opportunities, relocation assistance and amenities aimed at creating a solid work/life balance*

World-changing technologies. Life-changing careers. Learn more about Sandia at:

*These benefits vary by job classification.

EEO Statement:

All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, or veteran status.


You have the following:

  • Ph.D. in materials science, chemistry, physics, materials engineering, or closely related field.
  • A distinguished record of scientific research accomplishment, as demonstrated by authorship of publications in peer-reviewed scientific journals.
  • A record of presentation of research at scientific conferences (oral and/or poster).
  • Experience applying transmission electron microscopy to the nanoscale analysis of materials.
  • Ability to obtain and maintain a U.S. DOE Q security clearance.


You also have one, or all, of the following:

  • Experience using TEM and/or STEM for high-resolution and diffraction contrast imaging, diffraction, and chemical spectroscopies (e.g., EDS or EELS).
  • Experience independently operating monochromated and aberration-corrected TEMs
  • Experience in writing and documenting code for data analysis, particularly in applications for quantitative image and spectrum processing.
  • A foundational understanding of electronic structure of materials.
  • Strong laboratory skills in TEM specimen preparation methods and in other materials characterization techniques.
  • Strong interpersonal skills.

Security Clearance:

Position requires a Department of Energy (DOE) Q-level security clearance.

Sandia is required by DOE to conduct a pre-employment drug test and background review that includes checks of personal references, credit, law enforcement records, and employment/education verifications. Applicants for employment must be able to obtain and maintain a DOE Q-level security clearance, which requires U.S. citizenship. If you hold more than one citizenship (i.e., of the U.S. and another country), your ability to obtain a security clearance may be impacted.

Applicants offered employment with Sandia are subject to a federal background investigation to meet the requirements for access to classified information or matter if the duties of the position require a DOE security clearance. Substance abuse or illegal drug use, falsification of information, criminal activity, serious misconduct or other indicators of untrustworthiness can cause a clearance to be denied or terminated by DOE, resulting in the inability to perform the duties assigned and subsequent termination of employment.