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Postdoctoral Research Associate - Materials Theory

We are seeking a Postdoctoral Research Associate who will focus on theoretial investigation to realize novel spin liquid or topological superconducting states. This position resides in the Nanomaterials Theory Institute in the Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences, Physical Science Directorate (PSD) at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL).  
As part of our research team, you will engage in theoretical investigation on quantum spin liquid (QSL) systems and topological superconducting (TSC) systems. Our main goals are 1. Identifying the design principle to realize Kitaev spin liquids by materials modifications and 2. Identifying the role of the superconducting proximity effect and the topological proximity effect in hybrid TSCs to realize Majorana zero modes. These theoretical works will be conducted with close interactions with other theoretical components and experimental components of QSC. Preferred experience includes density functional theory calculations and analyses using Wannier functions, developing and analyzing model Hamiltonians, and numerical calculations such as exact diagonalization and density matrix renormalization group methods. This position will be shared between two theoretical subprojects in the thrust 1, Quantum Materials Discovery and Development, in QSC. 
This position is supported by the Department of Energy Quantum Science Center, a National Quantum Information Science Research Center. Postdoctoral research associates appointed to the Quantum Science Center will engage with a network of universities, national laboratories, and industry to overcome key roadblocks in quantum state resilience, controllability, and ultimately the scalability of quantum technologies to realize the quantum future.
Major Duties/Responsibilities: 
  • Investigation of electronis structure of candidate materials using density functional theory
  • Developing effective models
  • Analyses of the effective models using analytical or numerical techniques
Basic Qualifications:
  • A Ph. D degree in theoretical condensed matter physics, materials science or a related discipline no more than five years prior to the date of application.
Preferred Qualifications:
  • Experience in theoretical techniques sch as density functional theory, mean field approximation calculation using model Hamiltonians, numerically exact diagonalization methods. 
  • A minimum of 3 years of experience in theoretical study of novel electronic systems.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills
  • 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
Special Requirements:
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 up to 24 months with the potential for extension. Initial appointments and extensions are subject to performance and availability of funding.
Three letters of reference are required and can be uploaded to your profile or emailed directly to Please include the title of the position in the subject line.
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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.
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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.