Heavy Element Chemistry Postdoctoral Scholar

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Berkeley, California
Salary will be predetermined based on postdoctoral step rates.
Oct 08, 2018
Nov 07, 2018
Field of specialization
Energy / Fuels
Work Function
Job Type
Full time

Heavy Element Chemistry Postdoctoral Scholar - 85699

Organization: CH-Chemical Sciences


Berkeley Lab’s Chemical Sciences Division (https://commons.lbl.gov/display/csd/Chemical+Sciences+Division+Home) has an opening for a Heavy Element Chemistry Postdoctoral Scholar. The Heavy Element Chemistry Program at LBNL explores fundamental chemistry of all of the actinide elements, from actinium through lawrencium. The incumbent will perform experiments to elucidate actinide chemistry in the gas phase.  For most experiments, electrospray ionization is employed to produce cations and anions of actinide atoms, molecules, coordination complexes and clusters. Chemistry of these ions is probed in a quadrupole ion trap, primarily by ion-molecule reactions and collision induced dissociation.  There is close interaction with theory efforts to more fully understand and interpret the experimental results. You will be involved in all aspects of the research, including developing hypotheses, conceiving and performing novel experiments, interpreting experiment and theory results, and ultimately reporting findings as formal presentations and refereed journal papers.  


What You Will Do:

• Conceive, develop and perform novel hypothesis-based experiments to investigate gas-phase chemistry of actinide-containing ions having dimensions from atoms to molecules to clusters.

• Effectively and quickly interpret complex experimental results, and promptly adjust research plans accordingly.

• Exhibit excellent scientific communication skills, including in preparation of manuscripts for publication in peer-reviewed journals and in oral presentations at meetings and conferences.

• Maintain existing quadrupole ion trap instrument, and develop new capabilities in gas-phase ion chemistry and spectroscopy.

• Effectively communicate and interact with colleagues and collaborators, including with theorists.


What is Required: 

• PhD in experimental inorganic, physical, or analytical chemistry, or a related discipline.

• Experience in one or more of the following:  inorganic synthesis and characterization; experimental gas-phase. Physical chemistry; advanced applications of quadrupole ion trap mass spectrometry; development of sophisticated instrumentation.

• Strong publication record in top-rated scientific journals, with extensive experience in manuscript preparation.

• Excellent verbal communication skills.

• Ability to effectively guide and train junior researchers.

• Familiarity with basic methodologies and applications of computational chemistry.

• Familiarity with basic concepts of actinide chemistry.

• Commitment to performing work in a safe manner, and in full accord with all applicable regulations and guidelines.

• Commitment to fully respecting diversity, and exhibiting inclusivity in interactions with others.


Additional Desired Qualifications:

• Experience handling radionuclides.

• Experience in actinide chemistry.

• Experience in gas-phase ion chemistry.

• Experience with applications of chemical thermodynamics.

• Experience working in collaboration with theory.

• Experience with high-vacuum systems.


The posting shall remain open until the position is filled.



• This is a full time, 2 years, 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 3 years paid postdoctoral experience. Salary for Postdoctoral positions depends on years of experience post-degree.    

• Full-time, M-F, exempt (monthly paid) from overtime pay.

• 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.


How To Apply

Apply directly online at and follow the on-line instructions to complete the application process. 


Berkeley Lab (LBNL, http://www.lbl.gov/) 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.


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