Postdoctoral Research Associate in Lasers and Terahertz Radiation for Accelerators

Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Postdoctoral Research Associate - Lasers and Terahertz Radiation for Accelerators

Date: May 15, 2023

Location: Oak Ridge, TN, US, 37830

Company: Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Requisition Id 10166 


Oak Ridge National Laboratory is the largest US Department of Energy science and energy laboratory, conducting basic and applied research to deliver transformative solutions to compelling problems in energy and security.

We are seeking a Postdoctoral Research Associate who will support the Superconducting RF Group in the Research Accelerator Division (RAD), Neutron Sciences Directorate (NScD) at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). The Neutron Sciences Directorate (NScD) at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) operates the High Flux Isotope Reactor (HFIR), the United States' highest flux reactor-based neutron source, and the Spallation Neutron Source (SNS), the world's most intense pulsed accelerator-based neutron source. Together these facilities operate 30 instruments for neutron scattering research, each year carrying out more than 1,000 experiments in the physical, chemical, materials, biological and medical sciences for more than 3,000 visiting scientists. HFIR also provides unique facilities for isotope production and neutron irradiation. To learn more about Neutron Sciences at ORNL go to:

The Postdoctoral Research Associate will investigate applications of high intensity lasers for contemporary and future accelerator technologies. The work will involve the modeling, generation, and manipulation of intense terahertz pulses for the acceleration of charged particle beams. To maintain leadership in particle accelerator technology, the SNS has been developing an R&D program investigating the application of intense terahertz (THz) radiation for the advancement of current and future accelerator technology. This program aims to understand the roll of THz pulse structure in the acceleration of particles, and how desired structured THz can be obtained practically through technology like the application of optical metasurfaces.

Major Duties/Responsibilities: 

  • Design and conduct experiments utilizing a mJ-class ultrafast Ti:Sapphire laser system, tunable Optical Parametric Amplifier, and terahertz conversion stage
  • Model intense terahertz pulse propagation and interaction with surfaces
  • Model particle acceleration in terahertz electromagnetic fields
  • Conduct studies of metasurfaces for the spatio-spectral manipulation of terahertz pulses
  • Apply knowledge gained from experiment and simulation to the design and fabrication of metasurfaces
  • Communicate and coordinate with scientists and technicians with diverse backgrounds
  • Participate in scientific conferences, workshops, meetings and publish results in the form of SNS technical notes and memos, workshop and conference proceedings, and scientific journals.
  • Ensure compliance with ESH and quality procedures and programs.  May participate in the development and communication of safety and quality procedures.
  • Commit to ORNL’s Research Code of Conduct. Our full code of conduct, and a statement by the Lab Director’s office can be found here:

Basic Qualifications:

  • A PhD in physics, materials science, electrical engineering, or a related field completed within the last 5 years of application date
  • Experience with experimental equipment such as lasers, lithography, and/or fabrication
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills
  • A desire to work in a team environment on scientifically challenging problems
  • Acquiring knowledge of related safety issues, regulations, and safe practices

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Experience with a modern programming language in a research setting, e.g., Python, MATLAB
  • Demonstrated ability to communicate research results through internal reports, presentations, and peer-reviewed publications
  • Experimental experience in ultrafast nonlinear optics, particularly Ti:Sapphire systems
  • Experience with design and fabrication of optical metasurfaces, or related fabrication techniques
  • Experience with particle tracking simulations or the simulation of electromagnetic field interaction with matter
  • Motivated self-starter with the ability to work independently and to participate creatively in collaborative teams across the laboratory 
  • Ability to function well in a fast-paced research environment, set priorities to accomplish multiple tasks within deadlines, and adapt to ever changing needs

Work Direction and Interfaces:

  • Reports to the Superconducting RF Group Leader
  • Keeps strong commitment to team environment dynamics

Measures of Effectiveness:

  • Success in the fulfillment of all major duties and responsibility
  • Success as measured by the ORNL Employee Performance Management process
  • Safe execution of all responsibilities in accordance with ORNL ES&H requirements

Please submit three letters of reference when applying to this position. You can upload these directly to your application or have them sent to with the position title and number referenced in the subject line.

Instructions to upload documents to your candidate profile:

  • Login to your account via
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  • Under the My Documents section, select Add a Document

Applicants cannot have received their Ph.D. more than five years prior to the date of application and must complete all degree requirements before starting their appointment. The appointment length will be for up to 24 months with the potential for extension. Initial appointments and extensions are subject to performance and the availability of funding.

Moving can be overwhelming and expensive. UT-Battelle offers a generous relocation package to ease the transition process. Domestic and international relocation assistance is available for certain positions. If invited to interview, be sure to ask your Recruiter (Talent Acquisition Partner) for details.

For more information about our benefits, working here, and living here, visit the “About” tab at

This position will remain open for a minimum of 5 days after which it will close when a qualified candidate is identified and/or hired.

We accept Word (.doc, .docx), Adobe (unsecured .pdf), Rich Text Format (.rtf), and HTML (.htm, .html) up to 5MB in size. Resumes from third party vendors will not be accepted; these resumes will be deleted and the candidates submitted will not be considered for employment.

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ORNL is an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants, including individuals with disabilities and protected veterans, are encouraged to apply.  UT-Battelle is an E-Verify employer.