Postdoctoral researcher—Thin film synthesis of magnetic and multiferroic nitrides

Job Description

Posting Title
Postdoctoral researcher—Thin film synthesis of magnetic and multiferroic nitrides


CO - Golden


Position Type
Postdoc (Fixed Term)


Hours Per Week


Working at NREL
The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), located at the foothills of the Rocky Mountains in Golden, Colorado is the nation's primary laboratory for research and development of renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies.

From day one at NREL, you’ll connect with coworkers driven by the same mission to save the planet. By joining an organization that values a supportive, inclusive, and flexible work environment, you’ll have the opportunity to engage through our eight employee resource groups, numerous employee-driven clubs, and learning and professional development classes.

NREL supports inclusive, diverse, and unbiased hiring practices that promote creativity and innovation. By collaborating with organizations that focus on diverse talent pools, reaching out to underrepresented demographics, and providing an inclusive application and interview process, our Talent Acquisition team aims to hear all voices equally. We strive to attract a highly diverse workforce and create a culture where every employee feels welcomed and respected and they can be their authentic selves.

Our planet needs us! Learn about NREL’s critical objectives, and see how NREL is focused on saving the planet.

Note: Research suggests that potential job seekers may self-select out of opportunities if they don't meet 100% of the job requirements. We encourage anyone who is interested in this opportunity to apply. We seek dedicated people who believe they have the skills and ambition to succeed at NREL to apply for this role.

Job Description

 The materials discovery and design team in the materials science center has an opening for an experimental postdoctoral researcher in the area of thin film synthesis of novel nitrides by physical vapor deposition. The position would support collaborative basic-science projects exploring new and emerging nitride materials and would focus on developing design rules and optimizing properties for magnetic and/or ferroelectric applications. The candidate will read literature, design and perform experiments, and disseminate results in the form of conference presentations and scientific publications. The job duties would also include setting up and maintaining existing experimental equipment and improving/creating data collection and analysis tools. The initial appointment is for 1 year with possible extension of up to 3 years total provided mutual satisfaction and availability of funds.


Basic Qualifications
Must be a recent PhD graduate within the last three years.

* Must meet educational requirements prior to employment start date.

Additional Required Qualifications

Candidates should have at least a few of the following:

  • Prior hands-on experience in thin film materials synthesis using physical vapor deposition, including reactive sputtering, pulsed laser deposition, or molecular beam epitaxy
  • Experience with vacuum equipment
  • In-depth knowledge of one or several materials characterization methods, such as x-ray diffraction/scattering, optoelectronic measurements, electron microscopy, etc.
  • Good understanding of solid-state chemistry, crystallography, materials design principles and structure-property relationships in inorganic materials
  • Prior background working on magnetic and/or ferroelectric materials in an R&D environment.
  • Established track record in scientific writing, presentation, publishing, and communication.

Note: We encourage anyone who is interested in this opportunity to apply, even if they don't meet 100% of the position requirements. We seek dedicated people who believe they have the credentials, skills, and ambition to succeed at NREL to apply for this role.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Expertise in novel chemical spaces and underexplored materials chemistries (e.g., nitrides, phosphides, complex chalcogenides, etc.).
  • Prior experience working with metastable and/or kinetically stabilized materials.
  • Proven ability to maintain complex synthesis and characterization equipment.
  • Active computer skills in programing (e.g. LabView, C/Igor Pro, Python, Matlab, etc.), statistical data analysis, and/or software development.
  • Strong motivation, ability to work on collaborative projects, ability to balance different types of tasks and deadlines.


Annual Salary Range (based on full-time 40 hours per week)
Job Profile: Postdoctoral Researcher / Annual Salary Range: $71,300 - $117,600

NREL takes into consideration a candidate’s education, training, and experience, expected quality and quantity of work, required travel (if any), external market and internal value, including seniority and merit systems, and internal pay alignment when determining the salary level for potential new employees. In compliance with the Colorado Equal Pay for Equal Work Act, a potential new employee’s salary history will not be used in compensation decisions.

Drug Free Workplace

NREL 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.

If you are offered employment at NREL, you must pass a drug test prior to commencing employment. NREL complies with federal law regarding illegal drug use. Under federal law, marijuana remains an illegal drug. If you test positive for any illegal controlled substance, including marijuana, your offer of employment will be withdrawn.

Benefits Summary
Benefits include medical, dental, and vision insurance; short-term disability insurance*; pension benefits*; 403(b) Employee Savings Plan with employer match*; life and accidental death and dismemberment (AD&D) insurance; personal time off (PTO) and sick leave; and paid holidays. NREL employees may be eligible for, but are not guaranteed, performance-, merit-, and achievement- based awards that include a monetary component. Some positions may be eligible for relocation expense reimbursement.

* Based on eligibility rules

Submission Guidelines

Please note that in order to be considered an applicant for any position at NREL you must submit an application form for each position for which you believe you are qualified. Applications are not kept on file for future positions. Please include a cover letter and resume with each position application.


EEO Policy

NREL is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard basis of age (40 and over), color, disability, gender identity, genetic information, marital status, domestic partner status, military or veteran status, national origin/ancestry, race, religion, creed, sex (including pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding), sexual orientation, and any other applicable status protected by federal, state, or local laws.

EEO is the Law | Pay Transparency Nondiscrimination | Reasonable Accommodations

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