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X-Ray Spectroscopy - Postdoctoral Researcher

Entry Level | Full-time
Postdoctoral/Fellowship | livermore, CA | 02/06/2022

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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 conduct experimental research using x-ray spectroscopic methods to experimentally determine chemical reaction pathways and kinetics during detonation and detonation-like conditions.  You will actively participate in the research to characterize the electronic structure of high explosives, detonation products (i.e. carbon nanomaterials such as nanodiamond, potential intermediate species, and product gases.)  Incorporating these results, you will participate in the development of x-ray spectroscopic methods to interrogate detonation chemistry in a time-resolved fashion at x-ray free-electron laser and other synchrotron facilities.  This position is in the Nanoscale Integration Science group of the Materials Science Division.

In this role you will 

  • Conduct x-ray spectroscopy, particularly core-level x-ray Raman scattering and/or near-edge x-ray absorption fine structure on novel high-explosive molecules (PETN, CL-20, etc.) and their potential products (N2, CO2, nanodiamond, etc.)
  • Lead and/or assist in performing time-resolved detonation or detonation-like experiments at x-ray user facilities with a team of scientists and technical staff.
  • Design and develop experimental apparatus to perform time-resolved x-ray measurements under detonation-like conditions as a part of a collaborative multi-division and multi-laboratory team.
  • Actively participate a broad range of research into nanomaterials and nanoscale phenomena.
  • Pursue independent but complementary research interests and interact with a broad spectrum of scientists internally and externally to the Laboratory.
  • Collaborate with scientists in a multidisciplinary team environment to accomplish research goals.
  • Maintain and establish laboratory protocols.
  • Document research; publish papers in peer-reviewed journals, and present results within the DOE community and at conferences.
  • Perform other duties as assigned.


  • PhD in physics, chemistry, materials science, or a related field.
  • Experience in using synchrotron or x-ray free-electron laser facilities for materials characterization; particularly using electronic structure measurement techniques (i.e. x-ray absorption spectroscopies.)
  • Knowledgeable in electronic structure theory, e.g. the basic concepts of physical chemistry relating to x-ray and/or electron spectroscopies.
  • Ability as an innovative experimentalist with a broad range of experience in experimental design, techniques and execution.
  • Ability to develop independent research projects through publication of peer-reviewed literature.
  • Proficient verbal and written communication skills as reflected in effective presentations at seminars, meetings and/or teaching lectures.
  • Initiative and interpersonal skills with desire and ability to work in a collaborative, multidisciplinary team environment.

Qualifications We Desire

  • Experience in other nanomaterial characterization techniques, particularly x-ray Raman scattering, near-edge x-ray absorption spectroscopy, x-ray scattering, x-ray diffraction, or related electron energy loss spectroscopies.
  • Experience using time-resolved photon-based experimental techniques to interrogate rapid chemical reactions or other phenomena, for example, experience in laser-driven shock-physics.
  • Experience with high explosives and detonation physics, related organic molecular crystals, combustion chemistry, and/or carbon nanomaterials.

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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