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Post Doctorate RA -Bioinspired Carbon Capture and Mineralization


The Physical and Computational Sciences Directorate (PCSD) researchers lead major R&D efforts in experimental and theoretical interfacial chemistry, chemical analysis, high energy physics, interfacial catalysis, multifunctional materials, and integrated high-performance and data-intensive computing.
PCSD is PNNL’s primary steward for research supported by the Department of Energy’s Offices of Basic Energy Sciences, Advanced Scientific Computing Research, and Nuclear Physics, all within the Department of Energy's Office of Science.
Additionally, Directorate staff perform research and development for private industry and other government agencies, such as the Department of Defense and NASA. The Directorate's researchers are members of interdisciplinary teams tackling challenges of national importance that cut across all missions of the Department of Energy.


The Opportunity:
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) is a world-class research institution powered by a highly educated, diverse workforce committed to collaboration and work–life balance. Every year, scores of dynamic, driven postdocs come to PNNL to work with renowned researchers on meaningful science, innovations and outcomes for the U.S. Department of Energy and other sponsors; here is your chance to be one of them!
We are seeking an outstanding researcher to join our group to explore and develop bioinspired capture and mineralization phenomena involving synthetic polymers with applications to carbon capture and sequestration. The polymers are protein mimics designed to control and enhance CO2 hydration, ion adsorption, nucleation and crystal growth of metal carbonates minerals. The successful candidate will have a strong background in understanding and analyzing aqueous chemical equilibria, biomolecular structure, and nanoscale materials characterization, such as by atomic force microscopy (AFM) performed on soft matter. The successful candidate will take advantage of advanced wet chemical analytics and nanoscale imaging instrumentation at PNNL to help build a molecular-level understanding of how tuning of bioinspired polymer structures relates to their ability to nucleate metal carbonate minerals. Experience with solution thermodynamics, interfacial chemistry, and kinetics would be beneficial. The candidate will work as part of a team that includes world-leaders in AFM, in-situ electron microscopy, advanced surface spectroscopies, aqueous chemical and materials modeling, and atomic scale simulation. The candidate will also prepare manuscripts for publication, present the research work internally and externally at national/international conferences, and develop new ideas for the funded research.


Minimum Qualifications:
Candidates must have received a PhD within the past five years (60 months) or within the next 8 months from an accredited college or university.
Preferred Qualifications:
• A strong background in atomic force microscopy, preferably including in-situ imaging in fluids. Experience operating in diverse in-situ conditions, or using advanced methods such as FM-imaging, EFM, SKPFM, or dynamic force spectroscopy are highly beneficial.
• Experience in thermodynamic principles of aqueous chemical equilibria and benchtop wet chemical analyses.
• Experience in materials synthesis, especially involving solid-phase synthesis, inorganic mineral phases and composite materials, and experience using complementary nanoscale characterization techniques, including TEM, XRD, SEM, XPS, DLS, etc...
• Strong knowledge of biomimetic polymer chemistry, interfacial chemistry, solution thermodynamics, and/or physics of nucleation and growth.
• The applicant must have the ability to work in collaboration with a diverse group of scientists and technical staff across the national lab, including experimentalists and computational modelers.
• The applicant must have strong, safety-oriented laboratory skills. They must be able to recognize abnormal operating conditions, correct and report to supervisor and warranty provider in a timely and responsible manner. They must have the ability to adapt, refine, or innovate experimental tools as needed.
• Experience supervising and coordinating multiple projects, while keeping accurate and legible operating records associated with assigned job.
• Strong verbal and written communications skills, and a demonstrated record of publishing in first class journals.

Hazardous Working Conditions/Environment

Not applicable

Additional Information

The candidate must possess a Ph.D. in Chemistry, Geochemistry, Materials Science, Biochemistry, Physical Chemistry, Chemical Engineering, Physics or other related fields. Minimum GPA of 3.25 is preferred.

Testing Designated Position

Not applicable
About PNNL

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) is a world-class research institution powered by a highly educated, diverse workforce committed to the values of Integrity, Creativity, Collaboration, Impact, and Courage. Every year, scores of dynamic, driven people come to PNNL to work with renowned researchers on meaningful science, innovations and outcomes for the U.S. Department of Energy and other sponsors; here is your chance to be one of them!
At PNNL, you will find an exciting research environment and excellent benefits including health insurance, flexible work schedules and telework options. PNNL is located in eastern Washington State—the dry side of Washington known for its stellar outdoor recreation and affordable cost of living. The Lab’s campus is only a 45-minute flight (or ~3 hour drive) from Seattle or Portland, and is serviced by the convenient PSC airport, connected to 8 major hubs.

Commitment to Excellence, Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Equal Employment Opportunity

Our laboratory is committed to a diverse and inclusive work environment dedicated to solving critical challenges in fundamental sciences, national security, and energy resiliency. We are proud to be an Equal Employment Opportunity and Affirmative Action employer. In support of this commitment, we encourage people of all racial/ethnic identities, women, veterans, and individuals with disabilities to apply for employment.
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory considers all applicants for employment without regard to race, religion, color, sex (including pregnancy, sexual orientation, and gender identity), national origin, age, disability, genetic information (including family medical history), protected veteran status, and any other status or characteristic protected by federal, state, and/or local laws.
We are committed to providing reasonable accommodations for individuals with disabilities and disabled veterans in our job application procedures and in employment. If you need assistance or an accommodation due to a disability, contact us at

Drug Free Workplace

PNNL is committed to a drug-free workplace supported by Workplace Substance Abuse Program (WSAP) and complies with federal laws prohibiting the possession and use of illegal drugs.

Mandatory Requirements

Battelle requires employees to have a COVID-19 vaccine as a condition of employment, subject to accommodation. Applicants are required to disclose their vaccination status following a conditional offer of employment and must attest to being fully vaccinated with a Center for Disease Control (CDC)-approved COVID-19 vaccination, or provide documentation of need for medical or religious exemption from the COVID-19 vaccination requirement.
Please be aware that the Department of Energy (DOE) prohibits DOE employees and contractors from having any affiliation with the foreign government of a country DOE has identified as a “country of risk” without explicit approval by DOE and Battelle. If you are offered a position at PNNL and currently have any affiliation with the government of one of these countries you will be required to disclose this information and recuse yourself of that affiliation or receive approval from DOE and Battelle prior to your first day of employment.