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RAP opportunity at National Institute of Standards and Technology     NIST

Synchrotron Characterization of Advanced Manufacturing Processes


Material Measurement Laboratory, Materials Measurement Science Division

opportunity location
50.64.31.C0823 Gaithersburg, MD

NIST only participates in the February and August reviews.


name email phone
Fan Zhang 301.975.5734


Synchrotron characterizations have emerged as state-of-the-art techniques in understanding and optimizing advanced manufacturing processes across diverse materials, such as metals and ceramics. These innovative advanced manufacturing technologies revolutionize the industry by producing complex, three-dimensional structures from digital designs. Nevertheless, the severe processing conditions inherent to these techniques present significant technical challenges that require insights often only attainable from high-energy synchrotron X-ray characterization, both in-situ and ex-situ, owing to high-energy synchrotron X-ray’s penetration power, time resolution, and spatial resolution.

For example, these distinctive capabilities of synchrotron radiation characterizations allow for real-time analysis of the complex microstructural evolutions and phase transformations inherent to ceramics during manufacturing and subsequent post-processing. These detailed insights into grain growth, porosity, and defect formation facilitate a deeper understanding of the relationships between process parameters, microstructure, and the final properties of ceramic components. Consequently, this comprehensive understanding can considerably improve the quality, performance, and range of potential applications for ceramics produced through advanced manufacturing methods.

This NRC postdoctoral research opportunity seeks to build on the staff expertise and ongoing efforts at the Materials Measurement Science Division of the National Institute of Standards and Technology. This effort focuses on developing and performing high-energy synchrotron X-ray scattering, diffraction, and imaging measurements to understand the processing pathways of advanced engineering or functional materials, especially dense materials such as metals and ceramics. The structural data will be used to corroborate predictive modeling. This research is expected to be executed through internal and external collaborations with access to a comprehensive suite of material characterization and modeling capabilities at the frontiers of advanced manufacturing.


1. Solidification modes during additive manufacturing of steel revealed by high-speed X-ray diffraction, Acta Materialia, 118713, 2023.

2. Phase transformation dynamics guided alloy development for additive manufacturing, Additive Manufacturing 59, 103068, 2022. 

3. In situ characterization of ceramic cold sintering by small-angle scattering, Journal of the American Ceramic Society 104 (6), 2442-2448, 2021. 

key words
advanced manufacturing; synchrotron; X-ray; structure; microstructure; in situ; materials processing; data; modeling


Citizenship:  Open to U.S. citizens
Level:  Open to Postdoctoral applicants


Base Stipend Travel Allotment Supplementation
$82,764.00 $3,000.00
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