Employment Opportunities

The NIST Materials Measurement Science Division is an exciting place to pursue research, and to gain valuable experience in the development and application of state of the art measurements for a wide range of technologies and materials types including nanostructured materials, electronic materials, and materials for energy storage and conversion. The division is known world wide for its excellent facilities and expertise in a wide range of advanced measurement techniques including combinatorial methods, synchrotron methods, scanning probe microscopies, and nanomechanics. Experience and expertise in these innovative methods is increasingly desired in faculty and industrial job positions. Alumni from the Division have taken top positions in academia, industry, and government. Research positions are available for U.S. citizens and non-U.S. citizens, with yearly salaries in the range of $46K to $65K and tenures of 2 years. Specific research opportunities are listed below.

Applied Mathematician
Type of Position: Post-doc; U.S. citizens only



Description:This research position will involve analysis of experimental data and the development of physical and statistical theories for deriving structural models from experimental data (e.g., from X-ray and neutron scattering from periodic structures). Use of sophisticated statistical methods and theory will be required for parameter estimation and model comparison, (e.g., Bayesian and Monte Carlo approaches). Estimating uncertainties in parameters of physical models (particularly uncertainties across various models) from measurements pertaining to Standard Reference Materials is also required.

Contact:  Terrell Vanderah, terrell.vanderah@nist.gov, Tel 301 975 5785

Solid State Physicist or Materials Scientist
Type of Position: Post-doc or term appointment



Description: The Si microelectronics industry is currently faced with major materials challenges to enable further miniaturization (scaling) of integrated circuit devices, and adherence to Moore's Law. The gate stack (i.e., the gate dielectric, SiO2, and the gate electrode, degenerately doped polycrystalline Si), must now be entirely replaced with one having a higher capacitance. SiO2 will be replaced with a dielectric having a higher dielectric constant, and polycrystalline Si will be replaced with a metal or metalloid. Combinatorial materials science methodologies, ideally suited for this complex problem, will be utilized to yield a wealth of materials data, from which the optimized composition and structure of the advanced gate stack can be determined.

Contact: Martin L. Green, martin.green@nist.gov, 301-975-8496

Solid State Physicist or Materials Scientist
Type of Position:
Post-doc (US citizen only)



Description: Certain oxides, especially those with perovskite or related structures, exhibit remarkable physical properties such as large dielectric constants, large piezoelectric coefficients, relaxor ferroelectricity, and colossal magnetoresistance. Research opportunities exist in the systematic development of advanced models for the prediction of the above physical properties in such solid solutions. We use first-principles density functional theory calculations to uncover the microscopic physics responsible for the observed properties. The results obtained are then used to develop models that can be used to simulate systems with up to hundreds of thousands of atoms. The effects of external electric fields and pressure are also incorporated into the models. The results of simulations based on these models will be used to explain experimental measurements, predict the properties of new materials, and determine the nanoscopic chemical clustering that optimize the physical properties.

Contact: Eric Cockayne, eric.cockayne@nist.gov, 301-975-4347

Mechanical Engineer
Type of Position:
Post-doc (US citizen only)

Description: In this project we develop MEMS-based nanocalorimeters to detect and quantitatively measure thermal behavior of materials with nanojoule sensitivity. This research is at the intersection of materials science and nanofabrication, and emphasis will be on the development of nanocalorimetry to detect and quantify thermodynamic and kinetic parameters associated with reactions at the nanoscale. A typical application for nanocalorimetry is found in advanced electronic and optoelectronic materials, which are invariably used in highly integrated structures such as multilayer thin film stacks. The performance of devices containing multiple interfaces is critically dependent on their thermal stability. Nanocalorimetry can determine the stability of multilayer thin film structures by measuring the thermal signature accompanying interfacial reactions. To accomplish this, we perform extensive thermal modeling of the MEMS devices in order to correctly interpret the thermal signature we measure.



Contact: David LaVan, david.lavan@nist.gov, 301-975-6121

Type of Position:
Post-doc (US citizen only)



Description: Thermoelectric materials enable the direct conversion between thermal and electrical energy through the Seebeck and Peltier effects. In the Seebeck effect, an electrical potential difference arises when the junction between two dissimilar conductors is heated or cooled. This can be used for power generation applications. Conversely, when a current passes through the junction between two dissimilar conductors, heat is absorbed or expelled, depending on the direction of current flow. This is known as the Peltier effect, and can be exploited for electronic refrigeration. Recent improvements in thermoelectric conversion efficiency have made these materials attractive to the automotive industry for waste heat recovery applications. The properties of interest in thermoelectric materials include Seebeck coefficient, electrical resistivity, and thermal conductivity. This project addresses the innovations required to measure those properties, as well as the establishment of standards for thermoelectric materials. The thermoelectric materials may be quantum dots, thin films, single crystals, or bulk metals, alloys or oxides.

Contact: Winnie Wong-Ng, winnie.wong-ng@nist.gov, 301-975-5791

Materials Scientist
Type of Position:
Post-doc (US citizen only)

Description: In this project we study how biomimetic ceramic nanomaterials can be utilized in devices to achieve the functions accomplished by membrane transport in biological systems. This is a multi-disciplinary project involving materials science, nanotechnology, biophysics, and medicine. The research involves fabrication of ceramic nanoporous materials as synthetic analogues of native ion channels, or as mechanically and chemically compatible supports for lipid bilayers functionalized with natural and engineered transport proteins. Specific areas of research include 1) the development of ceramic nanoparticle artificial cells with stabilized ion channels and/or surface receptors; 2) the characterization and optimization of biological "batteries" to harness biological ion gradients for in vivo power production; and 3) development of new measurement techniques and standards related to the ceramic nanoparticles.



Contact: David LaVan, david.lavan@nist.gov, 301-975-6121

X-ray photo-electron spectroscopy experimentalist
Type of Position:
Post-doc; U.S. citizens only

Description: This research position will involve the use of synchrotron based hard x-ray photo-electron spectroscopy (XPS) to non-destructively study the electronic and chemical structure of complex layered systems. The ability to tune the electron mean-free path with photon energy enables the study of buried layers and interfaces that are relevant to industry. Knowledge of laboratory or synchrotron based XPS is required.



Contact: Daniel Fischer, Daniel.fischer@nist.gov, Tel 631-344 -5177

Other research opportunities in the Materials Measurement Division can be found in on the National Research Council's Associateship Website or by visiting the division website. US Citizenship is required for the NIST-NRC Post Doctoral Fellowship program; the NIST-NIH Joint Post doctoral program is open to all applicants.

Created November 20, 2008, Updated May 22, 2017


  • Material Measurement Laboratory (MML)
    Materials Measurment Science Division
    John Small, Chief

    100 Bureau Drive, M/S 8520
    Gaithersburg, MD 20899

    301-975-3900 Telephone