Jocienne Nelson

Postdoctoral Researcher-Directors Fellowship

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Jocienne Nelson joined in NREL in early 2021 as a director’s postdoctoral fellow under the mentorship of Kirstin Alberi. Her research focuses on thin-film growth of topological materials by molecular beam epitaxy. She is interested in using epitaxial growth to engineer materials for quantum information and energy efficiency applications. Jocienne received her bachelor’s degree in physics from Oberlin College in 2014 and her doctorate in physics from Cornell University in 2020.  Her doctoral work focused on the study of iridates and other quantum materials using a combination of oxide molecular beam epitaxy and in situ Angle-resolved photoemission spectroscopy.

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Research Interests

Molecular beam epitaxy

Topological material

Photoemission spectroscopy


Ph.D., Physics, Cornell University

M.S., Physics, Cornell University

B.A., Physics, Oberlin College

Professional Experience

Director’s Postdoctoral Fellow, NREL (2021–present)

Graduate Research Fellow, Cornell University (2014–2020)

Associations and Memberships

Member, American Physical Society

Featured Work

Mott Gap Collapse in Lightly Hole-Doped Sr2xKxIrO4, Nature Communications (2020)

Dirac Nodal Lines Protected Against Spin-Orbit Interaction in IrO2 , Physical Review Materials (2019)

Strain-Stabilized Superconductivity, Nature Communications (2021)

Amorphization Mechanism of SrIrO3 Electrocatalyst: How Oxygen Redox Initiates Ionic Diffusion and Structural ReorganizationScience Advances (2021)

Effects of Anisotropic Strain on Spin–Orbit Torque Produced by the Dirac Nodal Line Semimetal IrO2, ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces (2020)

Chlorine Evolution Reaction Electrocatalysis on RuO2(110) and IrO2(110) Grown Using Molecular-Beam Epitaxy, The Journal of Chemical Physics (2019)

Engineering Carrier Effective Masses in Ultrathin Quantum Wells of IrO2, Physical Review Letters (2018)

Influence of Strain on the Surface–Oxygen Interaction and the Oxygen Evolution Reaction of SrIrO3 The Journal of Physical Chemistry C (2018)

Influence of Surface Adsorption on the Oxygen Evolution Reaction on IrO2(110), Journal of the American Chemical Society (2017)

Awards and Honors

NREL Director’s Postdoctoral Fellow (2021)

National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship (2014)