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Research Associate - Nanofabrication

Job Location
5200 Illumina Way
San Diego, CA 92122
United States
Job Description

We are looking for a talented, experimental Research Associate to become a member of the Nanofabrication group within the Department of Research and Technology Development. Candidates with experience carrying out experimental work in the area of nanofabrication process development.


This is an extremely exciting opportunity to contribute to core technology at the foundation of Illumina’s products. This individual will be a key contributor to the development of the substrates and sensors used to build microfluidic devices that are utilized in Illumina’s sequencing platforms. This new team member will be responsible for contributing to the evolution of Illumina’s existing technologies as well as help pave the path for future platforms. He/She will be part of the nanofabrication team, performing experiments aimed at answering basic scientific questions and solving complex problems with a primary focus on developing new substrate formats.



• Development of new substrates, patterning methodologies and methods to manufacture those substrates; this includes working in an academic cleanroom environment (UCSD’s Nano3 facility).

• Performing basic materials characterization, such as profilometry, optical microscopy, SEM and AFM to characterize the interface between Illumina’s surface chemistry and new substrate formats.

• Perform micro- and nano-fabrication activities, including thin film deposition, spin coating of resists, photolithography, reactive ion etching, and nanoimprint lithography to fabricate proof of concept substrates.

• Operation of rapid thermal process systems for annealing substrates.

• Wet chemical etching, including buffered hydrofluoric acid and Piranha etch.


The ideal candidate will have a BS in Electrical Engineering, Nanoengineering, Chemistry, Chemical Engineering, Biomedical Engineering, Chemical and Physical Biology, Materials Science, Physics or a closely related field.

• Strong written and verbal communication skills. Contributor will regularly provide verbal updates, write reports, participate in technical meetings, and present results to team.
• Excellent laboratory and experimental skills; strong data analysis skills, ability to interpret and draw conclusions from limited to large amounts of data.
• Understanding of and experience with process development of multidisciplinary systems, including knowledge of optical, fluidics, microfluidics, electronics, and automation systems.
• Ability to work well as part of a fast paced cross functional team to achieve goals within defined target timeframes.

• Good note taking ability.
• Ability to execute and report on multifaceted experiments, not necessarily in field of expertise.
• Ability to multitask on projects with aggressive timelines.
• Strong work ethic with flexible schedule.


About Our Organization

Do you want to make a difference? Illumina’s mission is to improve human health by unlocking the power of the genome. If that inspires you, let’s talk. We’ve built a culture fueled by innovation, collaboration and openness, and established ourselves as the global leader in DNA sequencing and array-based technologies. Our people and our technology change lives by driving advancements in life sciences, oncology, reproductive health, agriculture and other emerging markets. Life at Illumina is about working with teammates who are deeply passionate about what we do, because we know that our work has the power to improve lives.


We’re an established company with a track record of phenomenal growth. Just check out our investor events and presentations to learn about our financial accomplishments. Our growth isn’t just in financials, we’ve been busy hiring the best and the brightest. Perhaps that’s why MIT has ranked Illumina near the top of its World’s Smartest Companies each of the last three years. If you thrive in a brilliant, fast-paced, and mission-driven environment, Illumina is the place for you. Join the journey of a lifetime. Join Illumina.

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