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Resonance Ionization Mass Spectrometry - Postdoctoral Researcher

Entry Level | Full-time
Physical Life Sciences | livermore, CA | 06/28/2021

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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 position. The successful candidate will perform Resonance Ionization Mass Spectrometry (RIMS) and Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry (SIMS) of cosmochemistry, environmental, and anthropogenic samples for chemical and isotope abundance measurements to support LLNL programs in nuclear forensics and cosmochemistry. You will actively participate in innovative research utilizing state of the art measurement techniques as well as further develop and maintain these techniques and help to develop and build new instruments. This position is in the Nuclear and Chemical Sciences Division supporting the Chemical and Isotopic Signatures Group.

In this role you will

  • Independently prepare, analyze, interpret and present results from complex environmental and anthropogenic samples for chemical and isotope abundance measurements including but not limited to U, Th, Pu, and REE using state-of-the art instrumentation including RIMS, NanoSIMS, FE-SEM/EDS.
  • Align, operate, and maintain custom lasers for use in laser spectroscopy and resonance ionization, especially tunable laser systems with emphasis on laser-atom interactions.
  • Develop and pursue innovative research applying mass spectrometry, with a focus on RIMS, to novel applications.
  • Contribute to the conception, design, and execution of advanced research to address problems in cosmochemistry and nuclear materials characterization.
  • Develop new measurement techniques to analyze novel samples by RIMS and extend the status quo.
  • Help to develop new RIMS instrumentation.
  • Collaborate with other scientists and technical personnel to accomplish research goals.
  • Publish research results in peer-reviewed scientific or technical journals and present results at external conferences, seminars, and/or technical meetings.
  • Perform other duties as assigned.


  • Ability to obtain and maintain a U.S. DOE Q-level security clearance which requires U.S. Citizenship. (remove if no security clearance is required)
  • PhD in earth sciences, experimental physics, analytical chemistry, or related field.
  • Experience in laser systems, ion sputtering and/or laser ablation, ion optical systems, and data acquisition systems.
  • Experience preparing and analyzing environmental and anthropogenic samples for radionuclides and stable isotopes ranging in concentrations from trace to high-level.
  • Familiarity with the field of mass spectrometry, and good understanding of the current state of knowledge in this field.
  • Ability as an innovative experimentalist with experience in experimental design, techniques, and execution, and the ability to work independently as well as in multidisciplinary research teams.
  • Experience in Python, C++, or similar programming language for data processing and instrument control.
  • Ability to develop independent research projects as demonstrated through publication of peer-reviewed literature.
  • Proficient written and verbal communication skills necessary to deliver presentations and prepare written publications, and reports.

Qualifications we desire

  • Publication record in peer-reviewed literature with experience presenting research results to a large audience.
  • Experience in statistical analysis applied to uncertainty quantification.
  • Experience programming in Python, C++, or similar environment for hardware control and data acquisition.

Additional Information

Why Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory?

  • Included in 2021 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

Security Clearance

LLNL is a Department of Energy (DOE) and National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) Laboratory.  Some positions will require a DOE L or Q clearance (please reference Security Clearance requirement above).  If you are selected and a clearance is required, 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.  An L or Q 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.

Pre-Placement Medical Exam

A job related pre-placement medical examination may be required.

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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