Nanofabrication Core Lab - Plasma 'Dry' Etching Staff Scientist

Date: Sep 15, 2021

Location: Saudi Arabia

Company: King Abdullah University of Science & Technology

Position Summary


  • KAUST Nanofabrication Core Lab is a multidisciplinary laboratory supporting research in Micro- and Nanofabrication and Microfluidics.
  • The individual will support research at KAUST and regionally by providing scientific expertise and support to staff, students, researchers and external users of the cleanroom
  • The individual will work with a team of scientists and engineers and specialists to help ensure an uninterrupted, high standard of experimental research.
  • In addition, the individual is expected to fulfil a additional laboratory and university-related tasks, as needed.


Major Responsibilities


  • The focus of this position is on plasma ‘dry’ etch processes and equipment, including Inductively Coupled Plasma Reactive Ion Etching (ICP-RIE), Deep Reactive Ion Etching (DRIE), and Chemically Assisted Ion Beam Etching (CAIBE), but may also involve other fabrication related processes.
  • Provide training and expert advice to staff, researchers, students and external users
  • Work in a team to deliver the highest level of service to maximize equipment up time, minimize maintenance costs and meet KPI targets.
  • Take on responsibility for other tools when required to provide back-up and cover for team members.
  • Document procedures for equipment operation, maintaining and reviewing regularly the standard operating procedures (SOP) and risk assessments.
  • Respond quickly to maintenance, calibration, process and trouble-shooting requests
  • Coordinate with off-site, on-site, local and international technical teams / specialists, vendors, etc. to ensure proper repair and of equipment
  • Develop new processes, techniques and materials by proposing and managing new and approved research/development projects.
  • Complete assigned work at the highest possible level of quality and in a timely manner
  • Identify required spare parts and facilitate the ordering process
  • Provide sufficiently detailed, frequent and easy to understand communications to tool owners/end-users
  • Maintain service reports to record all service-related activities
  • Complete assigned requests for service (RFS) on time, communicating effectively with requesters and Team leads.
  • Optimize and maintain standard processes, monitoring them regularly and recording data
  • Write specifications for, and oversee installation of new equipment and tool upgrades.
  • Ensure good laboratory practice and highlight non-compliance of laboratory policy and rules.  Identify areas for improvement in lab operations and suggest solutions.
  • Perform routine laboratory duties and maintenance, including administrative, procurement, service on task forces and committees.
  • Other duties as assigned by the team lead and lab director
  • Propose and manage and carry out development work which results in work of a publishable or patentable level or that significantly adds to the capability of the laborator




  • Highly experienced in plasma ‘dry’ etching of semiconductor materials.
  • Knowledge and experience of developing processes for silicon and compound semiconductor etching.
  • A good knowledge of a range of plasma etching techniques (e.g. Atomic layer etching, CAIBE)
  • Experience in using electron beam lithography systems and related design software would be preferred.
  • Strong knowledge of semiconductor device engineering/physics/fabrication would be preferred.
  • Excellent process trouble-shooting skills and demonstrable plasma etching equipment knowledge.
  • Experience of using lithography tools and techniques. (e.g. electron beam and contact lithography)
  • Strong experience and knowledge of cleanroom environments, standards and procedures
  • Good knowledge of advances in the field or research and potential vendors, to be able to advise on equipment specifications, replacement and upgrades.
  • Experience and practical knowledge of handling, installing and storing hazardous substances, risk assessing tools, processes and maintenance tasks.
  • Knowledge of Health and Safety protocols for toxic and compressed gases and equipment working at high and cryogenic temperatures.
  • Efficiently manage a variety of tasks independently.
  • Customer focused attitude
  • Excellent problem solving and analytical skills. The individual should be able to conduct complicated equipment trouble shooting independently through applying theoretical principles and is able to work collaboratively with factory service experts when needed.
  • Ability to work effectively and efficiently in a diverse, multi-cultural environment with some supervisory skills.
  • Collaborate with team members, lab users, and external service providers.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills
  • Strong planning and organizational skills




  • A PhD degree in a relevant scientific/engineering field.
  • At least 5 years of semiconductor or micro/nano- fabrication experience in a cleanroom environment with demonstrable experience in plasma ‘dry’ etching
  • Experience with statistical process control (SPC) would be valued.