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Requisition Id 7982 


Oak Ridge National Laboratory is the largest US Department of Energy science and energy laboratory, conducting basic and applied research to deliver transformative solutions to compelling problems in energy and security.


We are seeking a Postdoctoral Research Associate who will support the Soft Matter Group in the Chemical Sciences Division (CSD), Physical Sciences Directorate (PSD) at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL).


The Postdoctoral Research Associate will focus on the preparation and characterization of low-molecular and polymeric materials for fundamental studies and practical applications in direct air capture and manufacturing of polymer composites for vehicles, gas-pipe rehabilitation, and building materials. There is also potential collaboration with Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences (CNMS) and Spallation Neutron Source (SNS).


Major Duties/Responsibilities: 

The research will be focused on understanding and characterization of the kinetics of chemical reaction, designing material for an effective direct air capture that will be achieved through meticulous studies of the structure-property relationship. The manufacturing research will be focused on identifying a polymer composite formulation for vehicles and robotic gas-pipe rehabilitation, and conducting manufacturing of self-healable barrier films and other building materials. The research will require knowledge in chemical kinetics, experience with material fabrication. This research requires hands-on experience with various characterization techniques. These include characterization of reaction kinetics with stop flow spectrometry, Raman, NMR, diffusion measurements, structural characterization with X-ray and neutrons, mechanical characterizations, including tensile, DMA, and rheology test. Knowledge and skills to conduct data analytics is also preferred. This research will be complemented by collaborations and interactions with polymer chemists, physicists, and polymer engineers, X-ray and neutron scattering experts and computational chemists, whose research is also focused on polymer characterization, simulations and processing.

  • Study of chemical kinetics of CO2 binding to low molecular materials and polymers
  • Design preparation and characterization of aqueous solution and membranes.
  • Establishing a structure-property relationships in materials using various techniques. This step includes characterization of chemistry, dynamics, structure, and mechanical properties of material.
  • Gas adsorption and permeation measurements.
  • Surface modification of inorganic porous fillers via elemental surface chemistry.
  • Investigate the processability of composite resins
  • Characterization of polymers by standard methods including SEC, NMR, FTIR, TGA, DSC, DMA, tensile, rheology etc.
  • Establish the relationships between the structure, mechanical properties and processability in various manufacturing technologies.
  • Responsible for presenting and reporting research results and publishing scientific results in peer-reviewed journals in a timely manner
  • Ensure compliance with environment, safety, health and quality program requirements
  • Maintain strong commitment to the implementation and perpetuation of values and ethics


Basic Qualifications:

  • Ph.D. in Polymer Science and Engineering, Polymer Chemistry, Polymer Physics, Chemical Engineering, Materials Science and Engineering, or closely related field completed in the last 5 years


Preferred Qualifications:

  • Expertise in polymer characterization
  • Knowledge and expertise in dynamics, structural, mechanical, and chemical characterization of polymers
  • Basic knowledge in chemistry and some experience with polymer synthesis is preferred
  • Substantial experience with polymer-based membrane preparation, including experience with porous fillers like MOF and zeolite
  • Knowledge and expertise in molecular and gas transport
  • Knowledge and expertise in characterization techniques like SAXS/WAXS, Raman spectroscopy, AFM, SEM, TEM, rheology
  • Knowledge and expertise in synthesis of polymers and resin formulation
  • Knowledge and expertise in mechanical and viscoelastic characterization of polymers, composites and polymer solutions
  • Knowledge and expertise in polymer processing and manufacturing
  • Self-motivated, with the ability to work independently to accomplish project goals
  • Experience with data mining and exposure to data analytics
  • Participate creatively in solving problems and refining projects directions
  • Work collaboratively in a team environment and interact effectively with a broad range of colleagues
  • An excellent record of productive and creative research demonstrated by publications in peer-reviewed journals
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills
  • Safety conscious


Please submit three letters of reference when applying to this position. You can upload these directly to your application or have them sent to with the position title and number referenced in the subject line.


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  • Under the My Documents section, select Add a Document


Applicants cannot have received their Ph.D. more than five years prior to the date of application and must complete all degree requirements before starting their appointment. The appointment length will be for up to 24 months with the potential for extension. Initial appointments and extensions are subject to performance and the availability of funding.


Moving can be overwhelming and expensive. UT-Battelle offers a generous relocation package to ease the transition process. Domestic and international relocation assistance is available for certain positions. If invited to interview, be sure to ask your Recruiter (Talent Acquisition Partner) for details.

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This position will remain open for a minimum of 5 days after which it will close when a qualified candidate is identified and/or hired.

We accept Word (.doc, .docx), Adobe (unsecured .pdf), Rich Text Format (.rtf), and HTML (.htm, .html) up to 5MB in size. Resumes from third party vendors will not be accepted; these resumes will be deleted and the candidates submitted will not be considered for employment.

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ORNL is an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants, including individuals with disabilities and protected veterans, are encouraged to apply. UT-Battelle is an E-Verify employer.