Microscopist Technician

California, United States
11 Aug 2020
End of advertisement period
11 Oct 2020
Contract Type
Part Time

Job Summary

The Kavli Nanoscience Institute is seeking an electron, ion, and scanning probe Microscopist Technician with nanofabrication research and/or industry experience to help manage, maintain, and troubleshoot a suite of advanced microscopy instruments within its class 10,000/1,000/100 cleanroom facilities. This position will oversee the management of and lab member training on instrumentation used in lab research, primarily two transmission electron microscopes (TEMs), three scanning electron microscopes (SEMs), two focused ion beam (FIB) systems (one He/Ne/Ga-FIB and one SEM/Ga-FIB), an atomic force microscope (AFM), and associated analytical and sample preparation equipment.

The successful candidate will be expected to engage in process development and verification related to the microscopes. Familiarity with the basics of nanofabrication processes and instrumentation – particularly related to lithography, etching, and deposition – is a plus. The successful candidate will add to existing troubleshooting resources, SOPs, and provide technical engineering support to researchers in the design and setup of experiments and interpretation of results.

The ideal candidate can work independently and provide excellent assistance to students, postdocs, staff, and faculty members and address their needs and the technical requirements for laboratory experiments. Previous experience working with FEI/Thermo Fisher and Zeiss service engineers is a plus.

Job Duties

Primary area of responsibility will be managing the SEM, FIB, TEM and AFM suite of equipment (see microscope models and existing resources: https://lab.kni.caltech.edu/index.php/Equipment_List#Microscopy). 

  • Serve as the primary point of contact with users of SEM, FIB, TEM, AFM and auxiliary equipment, providing training/answering questions in imaging and analysis techniques, sample preparation, and overall user supervision.
  • Perform scheduled maintenance and alignments, order and monitor use of supplies/consumables, and perform any necessary troubleshooting to ensure optimal functionality of instruments.
  • Review and implement best practices and standard operating procedures, which already exist for the lab’s microscopy equipment; modify and add to these resources, as needed.
  • Educate/inform users on the proper use of equipment from a procedural standpoint, and on the underlying physics of the various techniques.
  • Develop and execute new skills and techniques in SEM, FIB, TEM and AFM, in order to add to the overall microscopy capabilities of the lab.
  • Help to assess needs for new microscopy equipment, and evaluate and install new hardware, when necessary.
  • Work with vendors and service engineers to ensure quick, thorough, and effective responses, as needed.
  • Take initiative to improve work processes that affect the functions of the facility; anticipate problems and work proactively to resolve them.
  • Ensure compliance with Institute policies, scientific protocols, regulatory agencies and, safety practices.
  • Assume additional responsibilities to promote the KNI’s mission as needed.

Basic Qualifications

  • B.S. in Engineering, Materials Science, Physics or related field.
  • Minimum of four years direct experience operating electron and ion microscopes in a research or production environment.
  • Proficient in common SEM and FIB techniques, e.g. secondary electron & backscattered electron imaging, EDS, electron beam lithography, direct ion beam etching, cutting and imaging cross-sections, TEM lamella sample preparation, microscope automation.
  • Experience in common TEM techniques, e.g. TEM and STEM imaging, bright field and dark field imaging, electron diffraction, EDS, HAADF, EFTEM, EELS.
  • Experience creating training documentation and educational resources.
  • Excellent time management, organization, and attention to detail.
  • Highly proficient in listening and communicating with students, staff, faculty, and vendors.
  • Maintain a dedicated and flexible mindset, and a continued interest in developing new skills.

Preferred Qualifications

  • M.S. in Engineering, Materials Science, Physics or related field.
  • Experience operating etching and/or deposition and/or lithography equipment.
  • Experience in AFM imaging and related techniques, e.g. tapping mode, contact mode, image analysis.
  • Customer service/user training experience.

Required Documents

  • Resume
  • Cover Letter
  • List of Three Professional References

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