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Organic/Polymer Synthesis Chemist

Austin, TX

Energy Exploration Technologies has a mission to become a worldwide leader in the global transition to sustainable energy. Founded in 2018, the company is fundamentally changing the way humanity is powering our world and storing clean energy with breakthrough lithium-ion technology and energy storage solutions.

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Job description

Energy Exploration Technologies has a mission to become a worldwide leader in the global transition to sustainable energy. Founded in 2018, the company is fundamentally changing the way humanity is powering our world and storing clean energy with breakthrough lithium-ion technologies and energy storage solutions.

 

JOB DESCRIPTION

EnergyX is seeking an organic synthesis chemist for its Separation Technologies team to develop advanced materials for direct Li-extraction from brines. The candidate shall specialize in organic or polymer chemistry and be highly skilled in various molecular ligand grafting techniques onto nanomaterials and be highly experienced in tailoring functional groups (charged or non-charged) inside the bulk or on the surface of polymer materials.

RESPONSIBILITIES:

Work with a group of experienced scientists including ion-exchange polymer experts, metal-organic framework (MOFs) chemists, and nanomaterial chemical engineers. Responsible for tailored functionalization of both ion-exchange polymers and molecular ligand chemistry on nanomaterials (such as MOFs, graphene, and nanoparticle oxides) to improve the properties (selectivity, ion mobility, stability, etc.) of Li-separation materials (such as membranes, resins, sorbents, etc.).

  • Support EnergyX molecular/nanoscale synthesis needs across all advanced materials, products, and technologies (i.e. direct lithium extraction materials & solid-state battery and energy storage)
  • Conduct hands-on organic synthesis and materials modification experiments, achieving nanoscale scale tailoring of molecular structures and functionalities.
  • Responsible for assigned project(s) in synthesis and evaluation of advanced separation materials.
  • Being a team member to provide support on various organic synthesis needs in creating designed multiple functional groups in homo/hetero-structured polymers and ligand grafting to nanomaterial surfaces/interfaces.

As a core member for the Separation Technologies team:

  • Ability to carry on independent development on the assigned materials synthesis/modification tasks, ranging from literature review, develop methods and approaches, design and conduct experiments, analyze data, and propose research directions.
  • Ability to interact with other EnergyX scientists and engineers, customers, university and industrial partners
  • Support development of a strategic roadmap for future applications of core technologies including the feasibility of potential add-on uses for polymer or inorganic-polymer
  • Effective communication skills as related to the team members, upper managers, and partners including presentation skills at meetings and conferences
  • Stay abreast of competitive technologies and their applications

BASIC QUALIFICATIONS:

  • Ph.D. degree with 3-5 years of industrial research experience (or Master’s degree with 5-8 years experience) in organic chemistry, material (polymer) chemistry, inorganic chemistry, physical chemistry, or a similar field
  • 3+ years of experience working as a synthesis chemist in a polymer materials or nanomaterials laboratory or similar function
  • Required organic/polymer synthesis skills: nucleophilic substitution reaction, benzene ring sulfonation reaction, condensation reaction, amination reaction, monomer preparation for polymerization to form high-quality polymer material, polymer cross-linking, surface coating via covalent bonding or molecular ligand grafting techniques, purification and membrane/resin synthesis etc.
  • Understands integrating chemistry into overall hybrid/composite material design
  • Ability to do instrumental characterization to validate the effectiveness of functionalization and covalently bonded ligands. Solid understanding and experience on spectroscopy technology including NMR, FTIR, GC-MS, AA, and surface analysis knowledge such as ESCA are also important.
  • Experience working in a group and a team of scientists and technicians in an R&D laboratory

ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS:

  • General knowledge of the water/ion separations, desalination, membrane, energy storage, and lithium industries
  • Ability to work in a fast-paced, startup environment
  • Ability to train technician(s)/co-workers on scientific synthesis method and hands-on skills

PREFERRED SKILLS AND EXPERIENCE:

  • Understanding of techniques applicable for lithium extraction, separation, recovery, and refining
  • Familiarity with electrochemistry, water/ion chemistry, electrodialysis
  • Development of scalable casting and system integration for polymer and mixed matrix membranes
  • Experience performing SEM, EDS, and other electron spectroscopy methods to evaluate membranes and other nanomaterials
  • Familiarity with new interfaces including controlled topology, functionalities to achieve optimal affinity, and reactivity specifically for water/energy systems such as ion-specific separation
  • Control mesoscopic materials architecture to achieve exquisite control of pore size and pore size distribution in membranes to tune multicomponent fluid transport by leveraging design principles
  • Experience working with multiple energy material systems in a laboratory or processing setting: salts, composites, polymers, and nano-particles

 

EnergyX is an Equal Opportunity Employer; employment with EnergyX is governed on the basis of merit, competence and qualifications and will not be influenced in any manner by race, color, religion, gender, national origin/ethnicity, veteran status, disability status, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, mental or physical disability or any other legally protected status.

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