Postdoctoral Position in Ultrafast Chemical Dynamics at Sandia National Laboratories, Livermore, California, USA

Job Description

Job Title: Postdoctoral Appointee – Ultrafast Chemical Dynamics
Anticipated starting annual salary:  $91,000
Job ID: 683507
Location: Sandia National Laboratories, Livermore, CA
Full-time, Temporary


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What Your Job Will Be Like

We are seeking multiple motivated postdoctoral experimentalists to work with Dr. Krupa Ramasesha on a newly funded DOE Early Career Award for studying ultrafast chemical dynamics that govern non-equilibrium electronic interactions between plasmonic/catalytic nanoparticles and molecules.


This project will investigate the mechanisms for energy and charge transfer between nanoparticles and molecules using cutting-edge experimental techniques, including both in-house and large-facility ultrafast soft X-ray spectroscopy (XANES and XPS) to unravel element-specific electronic dynamics and ultrafast broadband infrared spectroscopy to understand excited state vibrational dynamics.


On any given day, you will:

  • Operate ultrafast high-power laser systems and perform high-harmonic generation-based soft X-ray transient absorption experiments as well as soft X-ray absorption and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy at free electron laser facilities
  • Perform ultrafast broadband infrared spectroscopy using a plasma-based source of supercontinuum infrared pulses
  • Analyze and interpret experimental results in collaboration with theorists and document findings in peer-reviewed publications
  • Assist with sample preparation and characterization


You will be expected to publish research in high-profile peer-reviewed scientific journals and present results at national and international conferences.


Qualifications We Require

  • Ph.D. in chemistry, physics, materials science, or other relevant field
  • Experience with femtosecond amplified laser systems, nonlinear optics, and instrumentation
  • Ability to write peer-reviewed publications, evidenced by a strong publication record


Qualifications We Desire

  • Strong background in excited state chemical dynamics and charge transfer
  • Experience with ultrafast infrared spectroscopy and/or ultrafast soft X-ray core-level spectroscopy
  • Experience working in free electron laser facilities and contributing to user proposals
  • Demonstrated ability to address complex problems creatively, and to work effectively both independently and in a team
  • Experience with MATLAB, LabVIEW, Python, and related software


About Our Team

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.


About Sandia

Sandia National Laboratories is the nation’s premier science and engineering lab for national security and technology innovation, with teams of specialists focused on cutting-edge work in a broad array of areas. Some of the main reasons we love our jobs:

  • Challenging work with significant impact that contributes to security, peace, and freedom worldwide
  • Extraordinary co-workers, including over 25 post-docs working with 14 scientific staff and 10 technologists in our Physical Sciences Section.
  • State-of-the-art tools, equipment, and research facilities
  • Career advancement and enrichment opportunities
  • Flexible schedules, generous vacations, strong medical and other benefits, competitive 401k, learning opportunities, relocation assistance and amenities aimed at creating a solid work/life balance*

* These benefits vary by job classification


The Location

The Combustion Research Facility is located at the Livermore, CA site of Sandia National Laboratories. The surroundings offer an extraordinary living experience, at the edge of the Bay Area (San Francisco, the East Bay, and Silicon Valley), with easy access to cultural, sight-seeing, entertainment, and dining activities. Livermore itself is known for its excellent wineries (more than 60 in the Tri-Valley area) and excellent parks for hiking, biking, and running. Outdoor activities also abound along the nearby Pacific coast, Napa Valley, and the Sierra Nevada mountain range. 


Security Clearance

This position does not currently require a Department of Energy (DOE) security clearance.

Sandia will conduct a pre-employment drug test and background review that includes checks of personal references, credit, law enforcement records, and employment/education verifications. Furthermore, employees in New Mexico need to pass a U.S. Air Force background screen for access to Kirtland Air Force Base. Substance abuse or illegal drug use, falsification of information, criminal activity, serious misconduct or other indicators of untrustworthiness can cause access to be denied or terminated, resulting in the inability to perform the duties assigned and subsequent termination of employment.


If hired without a clearance and it subsequently becomes necessary to obtain and maintain one for the position, or you bid on positions that require a clearance, a pre-processing background review may be conducted prior to a required federal background investigation. Applicants for a DOE security clearance need to be U.S. citizens. If you hold more than one citizenship (i.e., of the U.S. and another country), your ability to obtain a security clearance may be impacted.

Members of the workforce (MOWs) hired at Sandia who require uncleared access for greater than 179 days during their employment, are required to go through the Uncleared Personal Identity Verification (UPIV) process. Access includes physical and/or cyber (logical) access, as well as remote access to any NNSA information technology (IT) systems. UPIV requirements are not applicable to individuals who require a DOE personnel security clearance for the performance of their SNL employment or to foreign nationals. The UPIV process will include the completion of a USAccess Enrollment, SF-85 (Questionnaire for Non-Sensitive Positions) and OF-306 (Declaration of for Federal Employment). An unfavorable UPIV determination will result in immediate retrieval of the SNL issued badge, removal of cyber (logical) access and/or removal from SNL subcontract.  All MOWs may appeal the unfavorable UPIV determination to DOE/NNSA immediately. If the appeal is unsuccessful, the MOW may try to go through the UPIV process one year after the decision date.


Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO)

All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age, disability, or veteran status and any other protected class under state or federal law.


**Inquiries about this position can be directed to Krupa Ramasesha,