Montana State University

Research Position
Vacancy Announcement

Postdoctoral Research Associate Still Open November 2011
Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry

Search Number     1062-3
Start Date Immediately upon successful completion of search process
Salary $37,000-$42,000 per year, depending on experience, education, and qualifications. Fiscal year appointment - may be renewable year to year for one or more years contingent upon satisfactory work performance, funding, and need.
Benefits Eligible

Founded in 1893 as a Land Grant University, Montana State University (MSU) is composed of eight academic colleges and a graduate school and boasts a friendly, supportive faculty and campus environment. Currently, the University hosts an enrollment of over 14,000 students, including approximately 1,900 graduate students. MSU is classified as one of 108 U.S. Research Universities (very high research activity) by the Carnegie Foundation.

MSU is located in Bozeman, Montana, an extended community of about 70,000 nestled in the Rocky Mountains in southwest Montana. In addition to providing access to an extraordinary ecosystem for teaching and research programs, Bozeman is renowned for year-round recreational and cultural opportunities to include access to world class ski areas, multiple blue ribbon trout streams and the Gallatin National Forest. The local airport is served by four national airlines and is the second busiest airport in the state.

Named an All American City, Bozeman boasts high-quality medical facilities, a very low crime rate, many fine restaurants, acclaimed public and private schools, a symphony orchestra and choir, an annual opera, and nationally known events such as the Sweet Pea Festival of the Arts held in early August of each year. Powder Magazine identified Bozeman, with "three distinctly different" major ski resorts within an hour's drive, as the number one place to live and ski in its November 2010 Magazine. ranked Bozeman #2 on the list of American Dreamtowns - small towns that offer the best quality of life without metropolitan hassles. The K-12 educational system, growing reputation of Montana State University, and pristine natural environment of the area combine to make Bozeman one of America's most desirable university towns. Bozeman is located in the beautiful Gallatin Valley, 90 miles north of Yellowstone National Park.

The research involves the study of gas-phase and gas-surface reaction dynamics of hyperthermal oxygen atoms and is relevant to interactions of space vehicles in Earth's upper atmosphere with atomic oxygen in the ambient environment. The gas-phase studies will employ two different crossed-beams machines: (1) a universal crossed-beams machine with a rotatable mass spectrometer detector, which allows the identification of reaction pathways and determination of product translational energy and angular distributions, and (2) a new machine with laser-based detection (LIF and REMPI) of products, with the goal of determining state-resolved translational energy and angular distributions. The gas-surface studies will utilize the universal crossed-beams machine and will focus on energy transfer and reactions at carbon, hydrocarbon, and ionic liquid surfaces. The experimental results will be combined with theoretical calculations to build a detailed description of hyperthermal O-atom reaction dynamics. The research involves collaborative efforts between experimentalists and theoreticians at several universities, companies and Air Force and NASA laboratories.
Duties and
Conduct molecular beam-surface and, possibly, crossed-beams scattering experiments with a universal crossed molecular beams apparatus. Conduct experiments with crossed-beams apparatus that will be used to measure internal state distributions of reaction products by laser-induced fluorescence and resonance enhanced multiphoton ionization with velocity map imaging. Conduct exposures of surfaces with a hyperthermal O-atom source and analyze the surfaces with the use of analytical techniques, such as quartz crystal microbalance, atomic force microscopy, scanning tunneling microscopy, scanning electron microscopy, x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, and surface profilometry. Assist in the maintenance of vacuum equipment, including procurement of supplies. Carry out data analysis with the use of existing computer programs and programs written or modified by you. Prepare publications. Give presentations of work at national and international meetings. Assist in the mentoring of other group members. Interact with research collaborators.
  1. Ph.D. degree in chemistry or related field.
  1. Research experience in the field of reaction dynamics.
  2. Experience with vacuum systems, as well as surface analytical, molecular beam, and laser techniques.
  3. Knowledge of theoretical methods used in reaction dynamics.
The Successful
Candidate Will

meet the required qualifications; have good written and oral communication skills; effective interpersonal skills including the ability to collaborate successfully with faculty and students; the ability to communicate effectively with fellow employees; display an aptitude for problem solving; take initiative and work well independently.

ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENT: This position includes defense department work with security restrictions; therefore, foreign applicants who are neither a U.S. citizen nor a permanent resident (green card holder) may not be eligible for the position (depending on country of citizenship). In accordance with MSU policy, hiring will be conditional upon successful completion of a pre-employment background check.


Updated 11-21-2011: The position is still open and the screening of applicants is ongoing and will continue until a suitable candidate is selected. To apply, submit (1) a letter of application that addresses the required and preferred qualifications listed above; (2) a current resume or vita; and (3) the names and contact information of three professional references. Electronic submissions in PDF format are preferred, and must have the applicant's signature on the letter of application. For electronic submittals please indicate "Applicant - Search #1062-3" in the subject line of the email.

Submit materials to:
  • Prof. Timothy K. Minton
  • Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry
  • 103 Chem/Biochem Bldg.
  • Montana State University
  • Bozeman, MT 59717
  • E-mail:
  • 406-994-5394
updated 04/06/10jh--additional requirement update
Update 6-23-10dml
update 09/08/10jh
Posted 03/26/10jh; updated 11/21/11dml