28 days old

R&D Materials Science - XPS/AFM/Surface Analysis Researcher (Experienced)

Sandia National Laboratories
Albuquerque, New Mexico
  • Job Code
  • Job Type
  • Job Status
    Full Time

We are seeking a highly motivated R&D Materials Scientist passionate about developing and applying next generation characterization technologies to provide solutions to national security applications.

If you are energized by solving National Security challenges and have research experience and expertise in materials science and surface science, consider joining our Materials Characterization & Performance Department! In this role, you will leverage state-of-the-art characterization tools, as well as innovate beyond today, to advance the forefront of materials science research and failure analyses. In addition, you will support the training and development of skilled characterization technologists, and aid in the prioritization of related characterization requests.

Success in this role requires expertise in chemistry, materials science, physics, or related fields of study, experience and knowledge of surface characterization/analysis and related research, and a desire and aptitude to advance the state-of-the-art in materials characterization. In addition, to be fulfilled in this role, you should have a scientific curiosity that spans fundamental science to applied engineering and be energized by the challenge of staying abreast in emerging technologies through developing a dynamic professional network with other national labs, academia, industry, and vendors.

On any given day, you may be called upon to:

  • Apply fundamental materials understanding of structure-processing-property relationships to solve materials forensics challenges, inform engineering decisions, and determine future research directions
  • Design and interpret materials characterization analyses using X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy (XPS) and UV-photoelectron spectroscopy, as well as complimentary surface characterization methodologies such as Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM), Auger Electron Microscopy (AEM), and X-ray Fluorescence (XRF)
  • Collaborate with other materials and characterization experts to identify the best experimental path forward for a given research question
  • Identify research opportunities and pursue funding to support new R&D activities and/or the advancement of new materials characterization technologies
  • Prioritize and inform incoming XPS, AFM, AEM, and XRF characterization requests for our department’s surface characterization technologists, while mentoring and deepening their technical expertise
  • Strengthen scientific visibility and professional networks through publication of research in peer-reviewed journals, attendance and engagement at conferences, and presentation of scientific talks

Department Description:

The Materials Characterization & Performance Department supports Sandia by developing and applying a breadth of analytical techniques to assess the structure, composition, and properties of materials. We serve our customers by helping them understand material behavior and performance, develop improved materials for specific components and applications, as well as develop lifetime performance predictions for materials. By applying a breadth of techniques, including spectroscopic and diffraction techniques, light and electron microscopy, metallography, surface analysis, chemical analysis, and contaminant analysis, we provide materials understanding and solutions for: engineering components and structures, failure analysis of all types of materials, and research projects across a wide customer base. We serve the entire corporation in their material analysis needs and frequently other federal agencies and industry. We also act as a gateway to materials characterization capabilities within and outside of Sandia. We take pride in owning, maintaining and utilizing to the fullest extent the best instrumentation available anywhere.

About Sandia:

Sandia National Laboratories is the nation’s premier science and engineering lab for national security and technology innovation, with teams of specialists focused on cutting-edge work in a broad array of areas. Some of the main reasons we love our jobs:

  • Challenging work with amazing impact that contributes to security, peace, and freedom worldwide
  • Extraordinary co-workers
  • Some of the best tools, equipment, and research facilities in the world
  • Career advancement and enrichment opportunities
  • Flexible schedules, generous vacations, strong medical and other benefits, competitive 401k, learning opportunities, relocation assistance and amenities aimed at creating a solid work/life balance*

World-changing technologies. Life-changing careers. Learn more about Sandia at: http://www.sandia.gov

*These benefits vary by job classification.

EEO Statement:

All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, or veteran status.



  • Ph.D. in Materials Science, Metallurgy, Physics, Chemistry, Chemical Engineering, or other related discipline plus a bachelor’s degree in science, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM), or equivalent combination of science and/or engineering experience and education
  • Research experience in materials characterization via X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy (XPS)
  • Experience in characterizing process-structure-property relationships in materials
  • Experience publishing papers in peer reviewed journals, and presenting research at technical conferences
  • Able to obtain and maintain a DOE Q-level security clearance


This R&D Staff Member role is multi-faceted, and as such, having some or all of these desired skills will bolster your success in this role:

  • Research experience in atomic force microscopy (AFM), Auger Electron Microscopy (AEM), X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF), UV-photoelectron spectroscopy, and/or other surface science, spectroscopy, and profilometry methods
  • Research experience in materials characterization with multiple classes of materials
  • Interest and/or experience in synchrotron techniques
  • Knowledge and expertise in ultra-high vacuum laboratory equipment, including design, maintenance, and trouble-shooting
  • Demonstrated creative problem solving and research advancement through development and/or application of state-of-the-art characterization methodologies
  • Experience in identifying new research opportunities and writing/submitting related funding proposals
  • Experience in working on multiple research projects, including relevant time management and prioritization skills
  • Aptitude for building positive customer/collaborator relationships, and enthusiasm for building and maintaining a professional network
  • Aptitude in interpersonal communication with diverse co-workers and various personality/communication styles
  • Experience and fulfillment in developing others to become successful
  • Strong dedication to quality, safety, collaboration, and teamwork

Security Clearance:

Position requires a Department of Energy (DOE) Q-level security clearance.

Sandia is required by DOE to conduct a pre-employment drug test and background review that includes checks of personal references, credit, law enforcement records, and employment/education verifications. Applicants for employment must be able to obtain and maintain a DOE Q-level security clearance, which requires U.S. citizenship. If you hold more than one citizenship (i.e., of the U.S. and another country), your ability to obtain a security clearance may be impacted.

Applicants offered employment with Sandia are subject to a federal background investigation to meet the requirements for access to classified information or matter if the duties of the position require a DOE security clearance. Substance abuse or illegal drug use, falsification of information, criminal activity, serious misconduct or other indicators of untrustworthiness can cause a clearance to be denied or terminated by DOE, resulting in the inability to perform the duties assigned and subsequent termination of employment.


Posted: 2019-05-22 Expires: 2019-06-21

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R&D Materials Science - XPS/AFM/Surface Analysis Researcher (Experienced)

Sandia National Laboratories
Albuquerque, New Mexico

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