Research Scientist, Characterization of Solids and Interfaces

California, United States
02 Jul 2019
End of advertisement period
02 Sep 2019
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Full Time

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Job Summary

The Caltech/LBNL Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis (JCAP) seeks an experienced and motivated scientist to be shared between the high throughput team of the High Throughput Experimentation (HTE) Project at JCAP and Dr. Bruce S. Brunschwig’s research in JCAP. JCAP is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy to research, develop, and implement techniques and devices to produce chemical fuels from sunlight, water and carbon dioxide.

The HTE Project is developing high throughput instruments for synthesis and characterization of materials to enable accelerated discovery of photo-absorbers, electrocatalysts and photoelectrocatalysts, using combinatorial approaches for synthesizing composition libraries of metals, oxides, nitrides, etc. These libraries are then screened for high performance materials and characterized using specialized equipment. The scientist will work with the HTE engineering team to characterize the materials produced by the team using X-Ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), X-Ray absorption spectroscopy (XAS) and atomic force microscopy (AFM) as well as other techniques. The scientist will develop protocols for the characterization of the materials produced by the project. These activities will support the development and operation of the HTE research.

In Dr. Brunschwig’s group, the scientist will be mainly responsible for developing the capabilities for the characterization, of the synthesized libraries, and participating in quality control activities. Daily activities will require expertise in XPS, XAS and AFM instrumentation. The scientist will also use advanced XPS and XAS techniques to characterize the interaction between metal oxide protection layers on semiconductor and the deposited catalysts to understand the energetics of charge transfer from the semiconductors to the catalysts. In addition, the scientist will also use advanced in-situ/ex-situ spectroelectrochemical ­XPS techniques to investigate band energetics of deposited layers, energetics of buried interface layers and interaction of metal nanoparticles (pinch-off) with semiconductor during or after photoelectrochemical treatment to understand the system behavior under realistic (operation) conditions.

The successful candidate will reside at the Caltech site and will report directly to the HTE Project Leader and to Dr. Brunschwig. Since a wide variety of materials are under investigation in the HTE project, background knowledge of materials science, chemistry and physics and hands-on experience with a variety of materials is important. To carry out the research projects also a detained knowledge of high vacuum, X-Ray, and AFM instrumentation is required.

Job Duties

  • Establish high throughput material characterization protocols.
  • Carry out systematic characterization of HTE materials.
  • Work with the HTE materials characterization team to validate deposition recipes and increase internal knowledge of the materials produced.
  • Participate in the HTE team effort of developing the catalyst and light absorber screening pipeline.
  • Communicate frequently with others via meetings and video calls.
  • Publish research results in peer-review journals as appropriate.
  • Develop XPS and XAS methods to characterize materials interfaces between semiconductors, protection layers, catalyst and solution redox processes.
  • Undertake detailed studies of selected semiconductor, protection layer, catalysts systems.

Basic Qualifications

  • Ph.D. degree in a physics, chemistry or materials science.
  • Experience with XPS, XAS and AFM instrumentation and techniques.
  • Experience with assembly and maintenance of vacuum equipment.
  • Two years’ experience in academic or industrial synthesis or research of solid state materials.
  • Experience in publishing in the peer-reviewed scientific literature.
  • Excellent communication skills to work effectively with scientists, engineers and technicians in a team-oriented environment.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Greater than 3 years research experience in semiconductor, X-/ray and/or heterogeneous catalyst research.
  • Experience in characterization of solid state materials, especially via XPS, XAS, and AFM techniques.
  • Experience with vacuum heating processes and high temperature materials science.
  • Advanced study or experience in materials science, physics and chemistry.

Required Documents

  • Resume