Postdoctoral Opening in Time-Resolved Photoelectron Photoion Coincidence Spectroscopy at Sandia National Laboratories, Livermore, California, USA

Sandia National Laboratories are seeking a highly motivated and driven postdoctoral appointee to work with Dr. David L. Osborn on the study of unimolecular and bimolecular gas phase reactions using a newly completed Time-Resolved PhotoElectron PhotoIon Coincidence (TR-PEPICO) spectrometer. See our first paper describing this apparatus in the Journal of Physical Chemistry A:

This new apparatus can detect reactants, intermediates, and products of multi-channel chemical reactions with isomeric specificity. Both photoionization and mass-resolved photoelectron spectra can be acquired as molecular fingerprints of chemistry, where the time-traces link products, via intermediates, to reactants.

The goal of the work is to increase understanding of fundamental processes such as isomerization, the reactivity of elusive species (carbenes, radicals, biradicals, Zwitterions), and to define reactive pathways by opening the “black box” of chemical mechanisms in atmospheric, energy transformation, and origin-of-life chemistry. The successful candidate will gain expertise in laboratory kinetics experiments, photoionization mass spectrometry, photoelectron spectroscopy, and computer programming for data acquisition and analysis.

On any given day, you will be called on to:
• Further improvement of a state-of-the-art TR-PEPICO spectrometer, including both hardware and software design
• Explore the reaction pathways and kinetics of elementary reactions relevant to planetary atmospheres, combustion, and origin-of-life chemistry using tunable VUV photoionization/photoelectron spectroscopy at the Advanced Light Source Synchrotron
• Extend applications to ultrafast pump-probe experiments
• Exploration of chemical reaction systems proposed by the successful candidate
The postdoctoral research associate will collaborate with a multi-investigator team, present results at national/international meetings, and publish research in high-profile peer-reviewed journals.

• PhD degree in chemistry, physics, atmospheric science, or a closely related field
• Experience in one or more of the following: chemical kinetics, chemical dynamics, molecular spectroscopy, mass spectrometry, photoelectron spectroscopy
• Strong record of publications in peer-reviewed journals

• Experience with vacuum chambers, electronics, and computer control of instrumentation
• Experience in computer programming, especially for experimental data acquisition
• Experience with electronic structure calculations, spectral, or master equation simulations
• Ability to address complex problems creatively, and to work effectively both independently and in collaboration with other researchers


The Gas Phase Chemical Physics Department is part of Sandia's Combustion Research Facility (CRF) in Livermore, California, where over 100 scientists, engineers, and technologists conduct basic and applied research to improve our nation's capabilities in gas-phase chemical physics. Under the principal sponsorship of the Department of Energy's Office of Basic Energy Sciences, the Gas Phase Chemical Physics Department conducts fundamental experimental, theoretical, and modeling research to develop a foundational understanding of the complex chemical reactions that occur either directly in the gas phase or influenced by it. Research areas include chemical dynamics and spectroscopy, advanced diagnostics, ultrafast physics and chemistry, chemical kinetics, multi-phase chemical physics, high-pressure combustion, and gas-surface interactions.

Position Information:

This postdoctoral position is a temporary position for up to one year, which may be renewed at Sandia's discretion up to five additional years. The PhD must have been conferred within five years prior to employment.
Individuals in postdoctoral positions may bid on regular Sandia positions as internal candidates, and in some cases may be converted to regular career positions during their term if warranted by ongoing operational needs, continuing availability of funds, and satisfactory job performance.

To apply and to access further information about this job posting
• Go to the Sandia Careers website at
• Click on “View All Sandia Openings”
• Enter Job ID 685690

Questions? Please contact David L. Osborn,