Research Scientist – Thermoelectric Materials




Alphabet Energy is the leading thermoelectrics technology startup worldwide. We are commercializing breakthrough nanostructured semiconductors, backed by top investors and founded by top scientists in our field as a spinout from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. We are focused on improving the cost-performance of thermoelectrics in order to bring products to our customers at large scales. We have been awarded six government contracts, four awards from the Clean Tech Open, have raised several rounds of venture capital from firms including TPG, Claremont Creek, CalCEF, and a large customer, Encana. We have been featured in Popular Science, TechCrunch, National Geographic, and Bloomberg, among others. 

We’re looking for a creative, experienced, and extremely talented materials scientist -- whose record of performance and accomplishments is best-in-class -- to become part of our team in the San Francisco Bay Area (Hayward), California. Your duties will include developing novel thermoelectric materials with high ZT and low cost in a fast-paced, product-oriented startup environment. We are looking to fill this position immediately. We will only respond to candidates who strictly meet the following criteria.

Title: Research Scientist

Compensation: Competitive salary plus equity and benefits

You: are extremely bright and very experienced experimentalist with an exceptional background in solidstate physics and materials science. You know the Boltzmann equation like the back of your hand  and cringe at the thought of Ostwald ripening. You know what the Debye temperature is. You have a Ph.D. in applied physics, materials science, or similar, during which you developed thermoelectric materials. You are curious by nature, a self-starter, and are a systematic and organized scientist. You’re an outstanding team player: no ego, just winning. You enjoy being involved in all phases of a project from brainstorming and planning experiments to executing and concluding them.

Description of the position: This staff scientist  is responsible for the materials development of  novel thermoelectrics and has a strong background in thermoelectric materials physics. The successful candidate will be a critical part of the process engineering team and will design and execute experiments to synthesize new thermoelectric materials, and then complete process engineering to scale development into production.

Specific Responsibilities Include:

• Synthesize new thermoelectric materials in the lab. Operate a variety of standard equipment sets and hazardous materials. Run reactions, chemistry, semiconductor processes, and metallurgical processes.

• Develop manufactureable processes for thermoelectric materials, build cost models, and justify and plan the scale-up of materials production.

• Perform thermal and electrical measurements on new materials, including thermal conductivity, electrical conductivity, Seebeck, etc. and interpret and communicate results.

• Monitor, control, and qualify equipment

• Program experiments in Labview or the like, plus strong working knowledge of PLC controllers

• Use standard software (MS Office, Google Docs) to create reports and document procedures

• Identify and address potential areas for improvement and optimize equipment availability, cycle time, utilization and cost

• Develop process control, reporting, and documentation procedures.

• Train new technicians and engineers.

• Understand and follow all health, safety, and environmental procedures and requirements.


Required Qualifications:

• A Ph.D. Materials Science or similar in experimental thermoelectric materials development.

• A four-year Bachelors Degree in Physics, Math, Engineering, or a related discipline.

• Mastery of understanding of doping, alloying, and reacting of materials.

• Extraordinary communication skills.

• Outstanding understanding of semiconductor solid state physics, including thermoelectricity.

• Hands-on experimental background building, testing, calibrating, and qualifying equipment characterization and the synthesis of materials. 

• Demonstrated technical skills and knowledge of semiconductor processing and process equipment.

• Demonstrated ability to write detailed and accurate reports for communication to other team members.

• Willingness to travel on occasion.

• Strong team player with the ability to work well within a team.

An ideal candidate would also have:

• Working knowledge of design of experiments (DoE) software 

• Equipment or process maintenance experience in semiconductor manufacturing


You must be enthusiastic about trying to impact the world through technology and business innovation. Most importantly, you must be an individual who recognizes the importance of execution and productmarket fit over technology performance, and enthusiastic about joining a rapidly changing environment at a startup geared for growth. If you think you’re right for the job then we’d love to hear from you. Please send your résumé to!