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Soft Matter Chemistry and Morphology Postdoctoral Fellow
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in the San Francisco Bay Area, California
Date Posted 09/13/2020
Employment Type Full-time
Application Deadline Open until filled

The Advanced Light Source (ALS) and the Materials Sciences Division at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) have an opening for a Soft Matter Chemistry and Morphology Postdoctoral Fellow to study chemistry-structure-function relationships in soft matter systems, including, but not limited to, polymer-based membranes for electrochemical energy conversion and water treatment applications.

Berkeley Lab’s Energy Sciences Area consists of the Materials Sciences Division, Chemical Sciences Division, and two national user facilities: The ALS, a synchrotron facility, and the Molecular Foundry, a nanoscience research center. This combination of world-class expertise and capabilities provides a vibrant environment for collaborative, interdisciplinary science. This position is funded through LBNLs Laboratory Directed Research and Development (LDRD) program and centers around developing insights into the molecular interactions and assembly of soft materials to bridge chemical synthesis and device performance. The postdoctoral researcher will collaborate closely with other research groups, both at LBNL and externally, to merge efforts in materials characterization, synthesis, theory and simulations, and transport properties.

The core values of the Advanced Light Source (ALS) reflect a strong commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. We seek candidates who will support a culture in which the entire ALS community feels welcomed and valued. An ongoing commitment to recruiting a vibrant, diverse and talented workforce is paramount to promoting a diverse lab community.

What You Will Do:
  • Conduct research to develop chemistry-morphology-function relationships in soft materials, for example, membranes for energy and water treatment.
  • Utilize and advance experimental techniques, for example, synchrotron-based X-ray measurements and other characterization tools, to probe chemistry and nano- to mesoscale structure of soft materials ranging from newly synthesized polymers and commercial membranes to other model systems.
  • Leverage the unique facilities at LBNL, including the Advanced Light Source and the Molecular Foundry, to collaborate on and conduct polymer synthesis, experimental characterization, and simulations and engage in bridging connections among LBNL facilities.
  • Collaborate and work in teams of scientists from diverse backgrounds and play a key role in merging efforts that span synthesis, characterization, theory, and transport studies.
  • Publish original research in peer-reviewed journals; contribute to scientific publications; present research through talks and posters at conferences, workshops, and multi-investigator meetings.
  • Uphold a culture of safety and promote diversity, equity, and inclusion.

What is Required:

  • Ph.D. in chemical engineering, materials science, polymer science, chemistry, physics, mechanical engineering, or a related field.
  • Extensive experience in determining structure-property relationships in soft materials, like polymers or other hybrid material systems.
  • Proven experience in polymer synthesis, polymer or soft matter characterization using complementary experimental probes, theory and simulations, and/or transport properties.
  • Demonstrated experience applying synchrotron-based characterization techniques spanning soft to hard X-rays, for example, soft X-ray absorption spectroscopy and X-ray scattering, to study soft materials.
  • Creative and independent problem solver with a track record of tackling research projects from initiation to meaningful conclusion.
  • Demonstrated ability to successfully work in teams and collaborate with researchers of various backgrounds.
  • Proven ability to publish research in scientific/technical journals supported by a strong publication record.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills.

Required Application Materials:

The following materials must be submitted with your application to be considered for this position.
  • Cover Letter - Describe your interest in this position and the relevance of your background. (1-2 pages)
  • Curriculum Vitae (CV) or Resume.

The posting shall remain open until the position is filled.


  • This is a full time, M-F, exempt from overtime pay (monthly paid), 1 year, postdoctoral appointment with the possibility of renewal based upon satisfactory job performance, continuing availability of funds, and ongoing operational needs.
  • You must have less than 4 years of paid postdoctoral experience.
  • Salary for Postdoctoral positions depends on years of experience post-degree.
  • This position is represented by a union for collective bargaining purposes.
  • Salary will be predetermined based on postdoctoral step rates.
  • This position may be subject to a background check. Any convictions will be evaluated to determine if they directly relate to the responsibilities and requirements of the position. Having a conviction history will not automatically disqualify an applicant from being considered for employment.
  • Work will be primarily performed at Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, 1 Cyclotron Road, Berkeley, CA.

Learn About Us:

Berkeley Lab (LBNL) addresses the world’s most urgent scientific challenges by advancing sustainable energy, protecting human health, creating new materials, and revealing the origin and fate of the universe. Founded in 1931, Berkeley Lab’s scientific expertise has been recognized with 13 Nobel prizes. The University of California manages Berkeley Lab for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science.

Berkeley Lab’s Postdoc Program is committed to providing Postdoctoral Researchers and Visiting scholars with a positive and impactful experience to jump-start their career through premium research and career development, networking opportunities, mentoring programs, and a strong community. For more information, please visit our Berkeley Lab Postdoc Resources site and our Berkeley Lab Postdoc Association site.

Equal Employment Opportunity: Berkeley Lab is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, age, or protected veteran status. Berkeley Lab is in compliance with the Pay Transparency Nondiscrimination Provision under 41 CFR 60-1.4. Click here to view the poster and supplement: "Equal Employment Opportunity is the Law."

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory encourages applications from women, minorities, veterans, and other underrepresented groups presently considering scientific research careers.
*Please mention to employers when applying for this job*
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