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Postdoctoral Appointee in Physics of Gas-Surface Interactions

Livermore, CA

Job ID: 691026

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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 amazing impact that contributes to security, peace, and freedom worldwide

  • Extraordinary co-workers

  • Some of the best tools, equipment, and research facilities in the world

  • Career advancement and enrichment opportunities

  • Flexible work arrangements for many positions include 9/80 (work 80 hours every two weeks, with every other Friday off) and 4/10 (work 4 ten-hour days each week) compressed workweeks, part-time work, and telecommuting (a mix of onsite work and working from home)

  • Generous vacations, strong medical and other benefits, competitive 401k, learning opportunities, relocation assistance and amenities aimed at creating a solid work/life balance*

World-changing technologies. Life-changing careers. Learn more about Sandia at:*These benefits vary by job classification.

What Your Job Will Be Like:

We are seeking a postdoctoral researcher to join our team! You can make an impact to a project involving utilization of advanced characterization techniques to probe the response of surfaces to high-flux hydrogen and helium plasmas. This involves using several forms of both in-situ and in-vacuo materials characterization, including optical spectroscopies and ion beam techniques.

Our laboratory uses many unique capabilities for hydrogen and helium science, including instruments optimized for sensitivity to chemisorbed hydrogen (e.g. angle-resolved, low energy ion scattering) as well as instruments designed to study the behavior of hydrogen and helium in materials (permeation and thermal desorption spectroscopy).

On any given day, you may be called on to:

  • Support Sandia’s magnetic fusion energy program, which focuses on the study of plasma-materials interactions, the design of plasma-facing components, and the development of edge plasma diagnostics

  • Participate in broader work related to Sandia’s hydrogen energy program, including studies of metal hydrides for fuel cell electric vehicles and hydrogen effects on structural materials

  • Develop hydrogen-sensitive diagnostics, including infrared absorption spectroscopy (IRAS), medium energy ion channeling, and thermal desorption spectroscopy (TDS)

  • Interact with collaborators at UC San Diego, University of Tennessee, and UC Berkeley, and occasionally work at the DIII-D tokamak reactor in San Diego

  • Present results at conferences and write publications in technical journals

Due to the nature of the work, the selected candidate must be able to work onsite at the Sandia, Livermore location.

Qualifications We Require:

  • Ph.D. in nuclear engineering, physics, physical chemistry, or other relevant field

  • Research experience in experimental materials science, surface science, or plasma physics

Qualifications We Desire:

  • Expertise in ultra-high vacuum systems, plasma diagnostics, and/or low- and-medium energy ion beam techniques

  • Expertise in hydrogen surface interactions and/or hydrogen effects on materials

  • Experience with theory and modeling of surface chemical reactions

  • Familiarity with LabView, Mathematica, Python, C, and Fortran, as well as the Linux operating environment

  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills

About Our Team:

Experimental and computational modeling studies of reacting flow phenomena relevant to combustion processes.

Posting Duration:

This posting will be open for application submissions for a minimum of seven (7) calendar days, including the ‘posting date’. Sandia reserves the right to extend the posting date at any time.

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.


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.

NNSA Requirements for MedPEDs:

If you have a Medical Portable Electronic Device (MedPED), such as a pacemaker, defibrillator, drug-releasing pump, hearing aids, or diagnostic equipment and other equipment for measuring, monitoring, and recording body functions such as heartbeat and brain waves, if employed by Sandia National Laboratories you may be required to comply with NNSA security requirements for MedPEDs.

If you have a MedPED and you are selected for an on-site interview at Sandia National Laboratories, there may be additional steps necessary to ensure compliance with NNSA security requirements prior to the interview date.

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.

Job ID: 691026

Apply Now


  • Worklife Balance
  • Flexible Work Schedules
  • Generous Paid Time Off
  • Exceptional 401K Savings Plan
  • Medical/Dental/Vision Insurance
  • Wellness Programs
  • On-site Amenities
  • Vacation Buy Plan
  • Telecommuting Arrangements*

*with management approval

Life in California

  • Close proximity to first-tier universities, Silicon Valley companies, and other top research laboratories and facilitiesM
  • Access to California’s finest public and private schoolsM
  • VineyardsM
  • BeachesM
  • State ParksM
  • Sports – Nearby major league franchisesM
  • Art havenM
  • Proximity to SF Bay AreaM

Learn more about Life in Livermore, California