The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), located at the foothills of the Rocky Mountains in Golden, Colorado is the nation’s primary laboratory for research and development of renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies. A postdoctoral researcher position is available immediately in NREL’s Chemistry & Nanoscience Center to conduct research on the mechanisms for interfacial electron transfer between microorganisms and carbon nanotube scaffolds.
This candidate will work within a small research team to focus on immobilization of catalytic microorganisms on electroactve carbon nanotube scaffolds. These hybrid electrodes will then be studied electrochemically and spectroscopically to understand the fundamental mechanisms governing electron transfer between the bacteria and the carbon nanotubes. A primary goal of this project is to understand design rules for fabricating functional hybrid systems for microbial electrosynthesis strategies aimed at e.g. converting carbon dioxide to products containing carbon-carbon bonds. Primary duties involve (1) preparing and characterizing carbon nanotube electrodes, (2) optimizing bacterial immobilization on CNT electrodes, and (3) characterizing interfacial electron transfer via electrochemistry and/or spectro-electrochemistry. The candidate is also expected to maintain a strong publication record.
Demonstrated skills and experience in electrochemistry and/or spectro-electrochemistry for tracking interfacial electron transfer reactions is highly desired. A PhD in chemistry, physics, materials science, or related fields. Experience working with solution-processable semiconductors and/or carbon nanotubes and/or other nanomaterials to form electrodes with high electroactive surface areas is also desired. Experience with bio-organisms or time-resolved spectroscopic techniques would be useful, but not required.
Required Education, Experience, and Skills
Must be a recent PhD graduate within the last three years.
A PhD in chemistry, physics, materials science, or related fields, with specific experience in electrochemical/spectro-electrochemical characterization, fabrication and characterization of nanomaterial-based electrodes and/or bio-hybrid electrodes.