Cleantech Co-Op (starting Sept 2023)

Job Posted 8/23/2023
San Carlos, CA
United States
Job Description

Update: Aluminio brings in Co-Ops for 6-12 month periods during specific times; we have recently filled many of these positions see below for more info. ALL Summer positions have been filled.

Co-Op (Group II) starting March/April 2023 -> FULL. No longer seeking applicants.

Co-Op (Group III) starting June/July 2023 --> FULL. No longer seeking applicants.

Co-Op (Group IV) starting Sept 2023 --> Interviewing applicants in May.

Background: Aluminio, Inc was created to solve the biggest technical issue with solar power and enable production of more efficient, cheaper solar cells that can be scaled to terawatts. Aluminio was co-founded by Dr. Brian Hardin and Dr. David Veysset and recently hired lead scientist, Dr. Max L’Etoile. Brian was previously a co-founder of PLANT PV, which commercialized silver metallization pastes for silicon solar cells and was acquired in 2019. David was previously a Research Scientist at Stanford and Max recently received his PhD in MatSci from MIT. We are based in San Carlos, CA.

Our mission is to develop products in the highest margin segment of the battery and solar supply chain that meaningfully improve their cost, efficiency, and sustainability. Our goal is to test with customers early in the process and quickly iterate to demonstrate commercial value. Customer validation is the greatest driver of value creation in a startup. We need to speed up the pace of innovation and convert new ideas into commercial products in 2-3 years instead of 7-10 years to combat climate change

Solar power project overview: Silver consumption is the top concern of solar cell manufacturers. Silver used on silicon cells accounts for 10% of global demand and represents 10% of the total module cost. The solar industry currently spends >$3 Bn/yr purchasing silver metallization pastes. Solar production is expected to rise 3-10x over the next 10 years and may be unsustainable without significant silver reduction. Furthermore, next generation solar cells use 70%-200% more silver than conventional (PERC) cells preventing higher efficiency modules from entering the market. We have created novel foils that are used in the “Aluminio” process to replace silver lines in next generation cells, which would enable cell makers to mass produce them.

Why Aluminio? There are few opportunities to get involved early in a clean tech company that is well funded, can quickly make a meaningful impact in renewable energy, has a strong value proposition and well-established customer relationships. Aluminio, Inc. recently received a two-year grant from the Breakthrough Energy Fellowship. This grant will completely cover Aluminio efforts to scale and validate the technology with customers over the next 24 months. We are hiring researchers who will help accelerate R&D and build fully functional prototypes. We have strong relationships with large solar cell makers, who expect to test our product in the next 18 months. What we are trying to do is audacious and hard, but it is the cheapest and most scalable solution to replace silver. We need help to make this technology successful, but if we make it work with our customers then we will have strong margins in a high-volume business that will meaningfully impact climate change.

What you’ll be doing: We are looking for people that enjoy working in a small, motivated team on a variety of projects. As an early member of Aluminio’s core team, you will have many opportunities to help build new equipment, automate tools, develop and optimize coating and laser processes, characterize materials, and do the millions of little necessary jobs (finding used equipment, build out the office, organizing the lab, etc). You will build and run multiple research projects and be responsible for presenting results to the team and suggesting improvements and follow up experiments. You will collaborate directly with the founding team every day, and have the chance to make an immediate impact.

Skills We Value

* Awarded or working towards a BS/MS in Engineering or Science field

* Desire to hack, build, and troubleshoot physical prototypes for quick feedback loops and testing

* Hands on lab experience running experiments and critically thinking about results

* Enjoys spending long hours in the lab making incremental improvements daily

* Familiarity with Python programming and common scientific packages (e.g., numpy, scipy, pandas, etc.)

* Independent thinker and strong communicator

* Authorized to work in the US


* Experience automating tools

* Experience rebuilding/repairing used equipment

* Previously operated vacuum deposition equipment (e.g., evaporator, sputter tool, etc.)

* Experience using SEM/EDX, XRD and profilometer

* Experience working with plumbing/Swagelok

* Experience design and operating optical/laser setups

* Experience fabricating and/or testing solar cells and lithium-ion batteries

Perks & Benefits

* Competitive Salary

* Medical Insurance


United States