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Sr. Optical Scientist

Applied Materials, Hillsboro, OR, CA, United States
Employer Description

We are the leader in materials engineering solutions used to produce virtually every new chip and advanced display in the world. Our expertise in modifying materials at atomic levels and on an industrial scale enables customers to transform possibilities into reality. At Applied Materials, our innovations Make Possible a better future. 

Our strength is in our global reach and resources.

Applied Materials has over 27,000 employees in more than 115 locations and 19 countries. Every day, we help high tech manufacturers around the world stay in the vanguard of technology and increase efficiency throughout the equipment lifecycle, so they can realize their technology roadmaps, solve tough problems, and overcome production challenges. We’re where they need us, when they need us, with the in-depth process expertise, advanced services, and continuous innovations they demand.


Job Description

Applied Materials is the leader in materials engineering solutions used to produce virtually every new chip and advanced display in the world. Our expertise in modifying materials at atomic levels and on an industrial scale helps our customers – who make smartphones, supercomputers, virtual reality headsets, autonomous vehicles and more – transform their ideas into reality. Our innovations Make Possible® a Better Future.

Inside our company, we apply the idea of Make Possible as we work together. We value our people and teams who turn possibilities into reality by advancing our strategy, accomplishing great things and empowering others. We are deeply committed to fostering a Culture of Inclusion where every person knows they belong, feels empowered to bring their whole self to work, and is inspired to grow.

Our teams conduct research and development at the forefront of optical science and technology in areas such as:

  • Constructing advanced optical imaging and metrology systems and techniques for process control and inspection in semiconductor and display manufacturing to maximize efficiency, precision, and functionality.
  • Designing and optimizing optical systems for specific applications such as photolithography and wafer inspection.
  • Developing novel optical materials and systems to meet the ever-growing technical needs in the semiconductor and display industries.

The optical scientists here at Applied Materials also work closely with other teams and engineers to ensure that the optical systems and technologies they develop are integrated seamlessly into the equipment. They can also work with external partners, customers, and suppliers to understand needs and develop solutions.

Applied Materials is seeking experienced candidates with demonstrated proficiency developing complex and sophisticated optical equipment for the semiconductor, microlithography, and display industries. This unique opportunity is located in Applied Materials’ new state-of-the-art optical development laboratory conveniently located in Hillsboro, Oregon.

Key Responsibilities:

  • Lead the development of advanced optical systems and technologies
  • Design and conduct experiments to test and optimize optical systems and components
  • Interface with and interpret measurements from optical components such as lenses, cameras, lasers, LEDs, illumination, and imaging optics
  • Complete various distortion analyses of lasers in ultraviolet and visible spectrums
  • Interpret and analyze measurement data from optical component manufacturer spec sheets
  • Collect measurement data for optical component tolerance testing
  • Analyze optical data using languages such as Python or MATLAB to generate results to inform recommendations for improvements
  • Collaborate with cross-functional teams to integrate optical systems into final products
  • Maintain detailed records of research and development activities
  • Mentor and train junior scientists and engineers on optical techniques and technologies.


Job Requirements


  • Master of Science in Physics, Applied Optics or Optical Engineering, PhD preferred and 5+ years of experience
  • Strong understanding of optical theory, design principles, and techniques.
  • Proven experience with custom electro-optic prototype development and in-lab testing.
  • Hands-on experience with tools for optical testing, alignment, metrology, and imaging
  • Heavily experienced in optical design using Zemax or CODEV
  • Ability to analyze and interpret data using programming languages such as MATLAB or Python
  • Experience with basic laser sources and fiber optics
  • Excellent problem-solving, communication, and presentation skills

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Non-sequential raytracing experience (FRED or Zemax)
  • Experience with fabrication, sourcing, and characterization of optical components such as lenses, mirrors, and diffusers
  • Experience with image processing and analysis
  • Experience with optical metrology techniques and devices such as interferometry, autocollimators, or profilometers
  • Experience with optical system integration and alignment in products
  • Knowledge of various optical materials and coatings
  • Experience in working with optical suppliers and product clients.
  • Publications in peer-reviewed journals or patents in optics related fields.

The salary offered to a selected candidate will be based on multiple factors including location, hire grade, job-related knowledge, skills, experience, and with consideration of internal equity of our current team members. In addition to a comprehensive benefits package, candidates may be eligible for other forms of compensation such as participation in a bonus and a stock award program, as applicable.

Applied Materials is an Equal Opportunity Employer committed to diversity in the workplace. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, national origin, citizenship, ancestry, religion, creed, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, disability, veteran or military status, or any other basis prohibited by law. 

08 January 2024
08 March 2024
Masters Degree
Semiconductor Processing / Manufacturing
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