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Surface Scientist - Postdoctoral Researcher

Entry Level | Full-time
Postdoctoral/Fellowship | livermore, CA | 02/05/2022

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Company Description

Join us and make YOUR mark on the World!

Are you interested in joining some of the brightest talent in the world to strengthen the United States’ security? Come join Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) where our employees apply their expertise to create solutions for BIG ideas that make our world a better place.

We are committed to a diverse and equitable workforce with an inclusive culture that values and celebrates the diversity of our people, talents, ideas, experiences, and perspectives. This is essential to innovation and creativity for continued success of the Laboratory’s mission.

Job Description

We have an opening for a Postdoctoral Researcher to develop and pursue innovative research in the field of analytical surface chemistry.  You will join a vibrant, interdisciplinary team to integrate a variety of surface characterization methods, including a state-of-the-art platform for x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, to understand the role of surface and interfacial chemistry in the lifetime and performance of a range of metals and polymers, investigate the effects of corrosion, and support the development of mechanistic insights through collaboration with multi-scale modeling efforts. The selected applicant must be committed to engaging a diverse team of scientists who are studying materials performance and degradation phenomena. This position is intended to provide a temporary period of mentored research and/or scholarly training for an individual with a doctoral degree, to give the successful candidate the professional skills needed to pursue a career path of his or her choosing.  Postdoctoral Researchers at LLNL should expect to continue to receive training in performing independent research that is complementary to the work of other members of their department, while also participating in multidisciplinary projects. This position is in the Nanoscale Integration Science Group in the Materials Science Division.

In this role you will

  • Conduct fundamental and applied research into surface and interface phenomena in complex and model systems using a multi-modal suite of characterization tools.
  • Support and maintain bespoke ultrahigh vacuum surface science instruments.
  • Independently plan, design, and execute experiments.
  • Develop new experimental setups and procedures as required.
  • Mentor and collaborate with students and technical support staff.
  • Publish research results in technical reports and peer-reviewed journals. Present technical results at scientific conferences. 
  • Work independently, as well as collaborate with a diverse, multidisciplinary team, to accomplish research goals.
  • Perform other duties as assigned.


  • Ability to maintain a U.S. DOE Q-level security clearance which requires U.S. citizenship.
  • PhD in Physics, Chemistry, Materials Engineering, Materials Science, or a related field.
  • Experience in the field of surface science.
  • Experience with X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy (XPS) and analysis of related data.
  • Experience with ultrahigh vacuum system design, equipment, and assembly.
  • Hands-on experience with a variety of materials characterization techniques (e.g., AES, TDS, XRD, ToF-SIMS, AFM, SEM, ATR-FTIR).
  • Knowledge of data processing and analysis techniques.
  • Ability to develop and lead independent research projects as demonstrated through publication of peer-reviewed literature.
  • Ability as an innovative experimentalist with a broad range of skills in experimental design, techniques, and execution.
  • Proficient written and verbal communication skills to collaborate effectively in a multidisciplinary team environment.


Qualifications We Desire

  • Experience in the specific areas of corrosion, electrochemistry, metallurgy or material mechanics.
  • Experience with soft x-ray synchrotron characterization techniques (e.g., near-edge x-ray absorption fine structure spectroscopy) or, with basic mechanical design (e.g., CAD).
  • Experience integrating experimental results with computational modeling.
  • Experience with metal fabrication, processing, and cleaning techniques.

Additional Information

All your information will be kept confidential according to EEO guidelines.

Position Information

This is a Postdoctoral appointment with the possibility of extension to a maximum of three years.  Eligible candidates are those who have been awarded a PhD at time of hire date.

Why Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory?

  • Included in 2022 Best Places to Work by Glassdoor!
  • Work for a premier innovative national Laboratory
  • Comprehensive Benefits Package
  • Flexible schedules (*depending on project needs)
  • Collaborative, creative, inclusive, and fun team environment

Learn more about our company, selection process, position types and security clearances by visiting our Career site

COVID-19 Vaccination Mandate

LLNL demonstrates its commitment to public safety by requiring that all new Laboratory employees be immunized against COVID-19 unless granted an accommodation under applicable state or federal law. This requirement will apply to all new hires including those who will be working on site, as well as those who will be teleworking.

Security Clearance

This position requires a Department of Energy (DOE) Q-level clearance.  If you are selected, we will initiate a Federal background investigation to determine if you meet eligibility requirements for access to classified information or matter. In addition, all L or Q cleared employees are subject to random drug testing.  Q-level clearance requires U.S. citizenship.  For additional information, please see DOE Order 472.2

Pre-Employment Drug Test

External applicant(s) selected for this position will be required to pass a post-offer, pre-employment drug test. This includes testing for use of marijuana as Federal Law applies to us as a Federal Contractor.

Equal Employment Opportunity

LLNL is an affirmative action and equal opportunity employer that values and hires a diverse workforce. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, marital status, national origin, ancestry, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, medical condition, pregnancy, protected veteran status, age, citizenship, or any other characteristic protected by applicable laws.

If you need assistance and/or a reasonable accommodation during the application or the recruiting process, please submit a request via our online form

California Privacy Notice

The California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) grants privacy rights to all California residents. The law also entitles job applicants, employees, and non-employee workers to be notified of what personal information LLNL collects and for what purpose. The Employee Privacy Notice can be accessed here.

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