Postdoctoral Researcher in High-Sensitivity Magnetic Imaging with Optically Pumped Magnetometers

Job TitlePostdoctoral Researcher in High-Sensitivity Magnetic Imaging with Optically Pumped MagnetometersLocationLos Alamos, NM, USOrganization NameMPA-Q / QuantumMinimum SalaryMaximum Salary
What You Will Do

MPA-Q is seeking a creative and motivated candidate for a postdoctoral research position in high-sensitivity magnetic imaging related to magneto-encephalography (MEG), ultra-low field (ULF) MRI, micro-neuroimaging, and optically pumped magnetometer instrumentation. The successful candidate will work in multiple programs including Laboratory Directed Research and Development (LDRD) and National Institutes of Health (NIH) programs that support interdisciplinary research to advance functional micro-neuroimaging and simultaneous MEG and ULF MRI of the brain. Specifically, the candidate will work in an interdisciplinary team to develop a compact, portable multichannel optically pumped magnetometer combined with an array of ferrite flux guides; design and perform experiments aimed at electro- and magneto-physiological measurements with motor neurons; and perform numerical simulations. Our goal is to perform original, high-resolution, ultra-sensitive magnetometers, capable of detecting a small number of neurons, to improve our understanding of brain function and ability to investigate the origins of the MEG signal at a micro scale. While these are the major expected activities, participation in many projects related to optically pumped magnetometers and experiments with lasers, such as axion dark matter search, are anticipated. Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) in general is the ideal place for collaborative activities and we also work in a team that has world-class expertise in the development, application, and analysis of optically pumped magnetometers [e.g., 1-5], which will be shared. There will be opportunities to publish high-impact experimental results and present them at conferences.

[1] Y. J. Kim et al, "Sensitivity of ultralight axion dark matter search with optical quantum sensors,"

[2] Y. J. Kim et al, "Experimental limit on an exotic parity-odd spin- and velocity-dependent interaction using an optically polarized vapor," Nature Communications 10, 2245 (2019)

[3] Y. J. Kim, I. Savukov, and S. Newman, "Magnetocardiography with a 16-channel fiber-coupled single-cell Rb optically pumped magnetometer," Applied Physics Letters 114, 143702 (2019)

[4] Y. J. Kim and I. Savukov, "Ultra-sensitive Magnetic Microscopy with an Optically Pumped Magnetometer," Nature Scientific Reports 6, 24773 (2016)

[5] Savukov et al, "Tunable Atomic Magnetometer for Detection of Radio-Frequency Magnetic Fields," Physical Review Letters 95, 063001 (2005)

What You Need

Minimum Job Requirements:

Demonstrated experience in sensitive measurements

Adequate written and oral communication skills evidenced by a strong publication and presentation record.

Education/Experience: PhD in Physics or related field completed within the past five years or expected to be completed at the time of the offer.

Desired Qualifications:
  • Substantial experience with lasers, optics, and electronics
  • LabView, Python, MatLab, Mathematica programing experience for data acquisition and analysis
  • Experience running sensitive magnetic sensors such as optically pumped magnetometers
  • Experience with magnetic field generation and measurements
  • Computational simulations of magnetic fields
  • Background knowledge in experimental atomic physics

Note to Applicants:
  • Position is available in October 2023; initial contract is for 2 years, renewable for the third year. LANL is actively hiring so there is a good opportunity for continuing the career as a staff member. There are also various programs for supporting postdocs, such as director postdoc fellowship, that sponsors postdocs with a strong publication record and other achievements. For further detail please visit LANL postdoc websites ( The ad will remain open until the position is filled.
  • Foreign nationals are welcome, and the projects are basic science research unlimited for public release.

In addition to applying online, please send a CV, contact information for three reference letters, and a cover letter describing your interest in the position and summarizing how you meet minimum required skills and how your experience is relevant to the posted job to Dr. Young Jin Kim at

Work Location: The work location for this position is onsite and located in Los Alamos, NM. All work locations are at the discretion of management.

Where You Will Work

Located in northern New Mexico, Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) is a multidisciplinary research institution engaged in science and engineering on behalf of national security. Inorganic, Isotope, and Actinide Chemistry (C-IIAC) Group performs research and addresses mission needs related to the nation's nuclear energy, renewable energy and medical imaging arenas.

Mission thrust areas within the group include actinide chemistry supporting new materials and separation processes, development of the production methods and applications of accelerator-produced radioisotopes, and energy storage/production methods using chemical systems. Basic and applied research conducted within the group includes nuclear chemistry and physics, accelerator target physics, inorganic chemistry, catalysis and chemical transformations, and environmental chemistry in support of these programs.

LANL enhances national security by ensuring the safety and reliability of the U.S. nuclear stockpile, developing technologies to reduce threats from weapons of mass destruction, and solving problems related to energy, environment, infrastructure, health, and global security concerns.

Our generous benefits package includes:
  • PPO or High Deductible medical insurance with the same large nationwide network
  • Dental and vision insurance
  • Free basic life and disability insurance
  • Paid maternity and parental leave
  • Award-winning 401(k) (6% matching plus 3.5% annually)
  • Paid time off (paid sick, vacation, and holidays)
  • Onsite gyms and wellness programs
  • Extensive relocation packages (outside a 50 mile radius)
Additional Details

Directive 206.2 - Employment with Triad requires a favorable decision by NNSA indicating employee is suitable under NNSA Supplemental Directive 206.2. Please note that this requirement applies only to citizens of the United States. Foreign nationals are subject to a similar requirement under DOE Order 142.3A.

*Eligibility requirements: To obtain a clearance, an individual must be at least 18 years of age; U.S. citizenship is required except in very limited circumstances. See DOE Order 472.2 for additional information.

No Clearance: Position does not require a security clearance. Selected candidates will be subject to drug testing and other pre-employment background checks.

New-Employment Drug Test: The Laboratory requires successful applicants to complete a new-employment drug test and maintains a substance abuse policy that includes random drug testing. Although New Mexico and other states have legalized the use of marijuana, use and possession of marijuana remain illegal under federal law. A positive drug test for marijuana will result in termination of employment, even if the use was pre-offer.

Internal Applicants: Regular appointment employees who have served the required period of continuous service in their current position are eligible to apply for posted jobs throughout the Laboratory. If an employee has not served the required period of continuous service, they may only apply for Laboratory jobs with the documented approval of their Division Leader. Please refer to Policy Policy P701 for applicant eligibility requirements.

Equal Opportunity: Los Alamos National Laboratory is an equal opportunity employer and supports a diverse and inclusive workforce. All employment practices are based on qualification and merit, without regard to race, color, national origin, ancestry, religion, age, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation or preference, marital status or spousal affiliation, physical or mental disability, medical conditions, pregnancy, status as a protected veteran, genetic information, or citizenship within the limits imposed by federal laws and regulations. The Laboratory is also committed to making our workplace accessible to individuals with disabilities and will provide reasonable accommodations, upon request, for individuals to participate in the application and hiring process. To request such an accommodation, please send an email to or call 1-505-665-4444 option 1.

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