Postdoc Advertisement

 Postdoctoral Research Associate – Structural and Spectroscopic Properties of Rare Earth Nanomaterials: This one-year position (renewable for up to two years) involves research to understand how to enhance the luminescence mechanism within ultra-small rare earth nanocrystalline materials experimentally exploring the interplay of three nanocrystalline effects: size, symmetry and morphology of the nanocrystal, proximity of rare earth ions to each other and to the surface (the boundary), and its optical activity (primarily the absorption and photoluminescence characteristics).  This project is chemistry and spectroscopy intensive — much of the work involves the colloidal synthesis and characterization of rare earth sesquioxide nanoparticles and the optical study (absorption and photoluminescence spectroscopy) of said materials.  This work will be in direct collaboration with theory collaborators who will explore density functional theory calculations of 4f electronic systems (the structural properties) and the theory of f-f transitions (spectroscopic properties).  The qualified candidate will have a Ph.D. in an appropriate discipline (Physics, Chemistry, Materials Science, or a relevant topic) and significant experience with nanoparticle synthesis (colloidal synthetic techniques) and various characterization methods (transmission electron microscopy, FT-IR, absorption, thermogravimetric analysis, etc.).  The successful applicant will demonstrate an ability to work independently within broadly defined research directions, and an ability to supervise research work of a graduate student, and to perform research and technical duties of the project.  Additional responsibilities include; scheduling work to meet research and publication deadlines, either directly or in conjunction with the Principal Investigators; communicating research policies; evaluating research quality.

Preferred Education, Skills, and Experiences:

  • Doctorate in Physics, Materials Science, or Chemistry.
  • Highly skilled in techniques of atomic spectroscopy.
  • Highly skilled in nanoparticle colloidal synthesis techniques.
  • Experienced in research on f-electron systems.
  • Highly organized.
  • Proficient in English.

Key Functions and Expected Performances:

  • Under minimal supervision, plan, conduct and evaluate investigations toward the realization of the project
    • Plan and coordinate work in conjunction with the Principal Investigator.
    • Coordinate with the other members of the research group, and with the collaborators in different laboratories and departments to achieve research goals in a timely-manner.
    • Record, compile, interpret, and communicate data/results.
    • Perform complex data analysis on the background of the existing literature (theoretical and experimental).
  • Assist PIs in modifying procedures and techniques of investigations.
    • Recognize problems and suggest solutions, assist in modifications.
    • Recommend improvements to established techniques, models and/or methods.
    • Maintain personal knowledge of scientific trends through literature reviews, attendance at meetings, conferences and seminars.
  • Provide appropriate written/oral documentation of research
    • Prepare research progress reports.
    • Analyze and summarize test results.
    • Preparation and oral presentation of results as required.
    • Compose scholarly publications based on research results.
  • Assist in the effective operation of the research group.

Additional Information:

This is a full-time, exempt position (40 hours per week).  Hours are typically Monday – Friday from 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., but this is dependent upon research needs.

The Postdoctoral Research Associate position will be in affiliation with VanderbiltUniversity, Nashville, Tennessee.  However, the research activities will take place at the Center for Functional Nanomaterials, Brookhaven National Laboratory, Upton, New York.  The ability to obtain security clearance at Brookhaven National Laboratory, a US Department of Energy Laboratory is a must.

Basic Qualifications:

This job requires doctoral degree in Chemistry, Materials Science, Chemical Engineering, Physics, or a related topic, and strong laboratory and analytical skills. Requirements include a background in colloidal nanoparticle synthesis, electron microscopy, atomic force microscopy, and optical spectroscopy techniques.

Start Date:

The projected start date for this position is April 1, 2013.  Interviews will be conducted, effective immediately, until the position is filled.

Contact Information:

Professor James H. Dickerson

Department of Physics & Astronomy

Vanderbilt University

Station B #351807

2301 Vanderbilt Place

Nashville, TN 37235-1807, USA


Phone: +1-631-344-8812

© Copyright 2023 by James H. Dickerson II.

Be the best that you can be!