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Surface Analytical Science - Staff / Research Scientist

Associate | Full-time
Physical Life Sciences | 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 Surface Analytical Scientist to conduct materials analysis and associated research using primarily X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and related techniques. In this position, you will serve as the primary point of contact for XPS data collection and analysis. You will have the opportunity to engage with several multi-disciplinary science teams supporting a broad range of national security applications and related fields.  This position is in the Nanoscale Integration Science group of the Materials Science Division.

This position will be filled at either the SES.2 or SES.3 level depending on your qualifications. Additional job responsibilities (outlined below) will be assigned if you are selected at the higher level.

 In this role you will

  • Collect and interpret XPS data from of a broad range of materials, including metals and polymers.
  • Perform data reduction, peak fitting, and prepare data reports.
  • Manage routine equipment calibration, maintenance, and optimization.
  • Coordinate and assist with sample preparation, handling, and supporting characterization.
  • Maintain laboratory records, including sample and collection meta-data.
  • Interact with vendors and technical staff for equipment purchase or repairs.
  • Conduct research on material degradation, corrosion, and other surface-mediated phenomena. 
  • Work within an integrated, interdisciplinary team. 
  • Perform other duties as assigned.

Additional job responsibilities at the SES.3 Level

  • Provide subject matter expertise on X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, methods for data analysis, quantification, and reproducibility.
  • Oversee and collaborate with a variety of scientists and technicians to provide support to various projects, ensuring project deliverables are met and laboratory activities operate efficiently; Drive experimental design for characterization of surface and interfacial phenomena.
  • Document and publish research results in peer-reviewed scientific or technical journals; Maintain professional and institutional visibility through participation in conferences.
  • Represent LLNL as a primary technical contact across projects, working effectively with conflicting priorities and participate in programmatic growth by identifying and addressing sponsor needs.


  • Ability to secure and maintain a U.S. DOE Q-level security clearance, which requires U.S. Citizenship.
  • BS degree in analytical chemistry, physical chemistry, materials science or related field, or the equivalent combination of education and experience.
  • Experience operating and maintaining XPS, other surface analytical, or X-ray analysis instruments.
  • Experience in data analysis, including peak fitting and/or assignment.
  • Familiarity with complementary analytical methods, such as electron microscopy, scanning probe techniques, Auger spectroscopy, SIMS, or vibrational spectroscopies.
  • Proficient verbal and written communication skills relaying technical information
  • Interpersonal skills necessary to interact with a diverse set of scientists, engineers, and other technical and administrative staff

Additional Qualifications at the SES.3 Level

  • PhD in analytical chemistry, physical chemistry, materials science or related field, or the equivalent combination of education and experience.
  • Significant experience successfully managing multidisciplinary projects, with proven success delivering expert level, high-quality technical products.
  • Significant experience documenting and publishing research results in peer-reviewed scientific or technical journals.
  • Advanced verbal and written communication, with interpersonal skills necessary to effectively interact with a diverse set of program managers, stakeholders, scientists, engineers, and other technical and administrative staff.

Qualifications we desire

  • Prior experience working on DOE and/or DOD projects.
  • Experience with ultrahigh vacuum system design, assembly, and maintenance.
  • Experience with near-ambient pressure XPS, or in situ liquid/gas cells for soft X-ray analysis.

Additional Information

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

Position Information

This is a Career Indefinite or At Will appointment. Only Laboratory employees with Career Indefinite or At Will status may apply for this position. If final candidate is an At Will employee, At Will status may be maintained based on funding considerations.

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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