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Process and Test Engineer

Thorlabs, Inc., Santa Barbara, CA, United States
Employer Description

Founded in 1989, Thorlabs seeks to accelerate the forward movement of scientific discovery and advancement! As a vertically integrated manufacturer of photonics components, instruments, and systems, our vast product portfolio includes over 20,000 items, ranging from optics and optomechanical positioning components to imaging systems, many of which are customer inspired.

Photonics is the foremost technology driving innovation in science and engineering. As the number of technological innovations has grown, Thorlabs has extended its core competencies in an effort to play an ever increasing role serving the Photonics Industry at the research end, as well as the industrial, life science, medical, and defense segments.

Headquartered in Newton, NJ, Thorlabs has grown to over Approximately 2,300 employees with manufacturing and sales offices in the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, France, Sweden, Japan, China, and Brazil. As light-based technologies push into new markets, Thorlabs plans to enter early with the products and services required to ensure the ultimate success of our customers.

Job Description

This cross-disciplinary position supports all aspects in the development, fabrication, characterization, and application of semiconductor supermirrors produced at Thorlabs Crystalline Solutions in Santa Barbara, CA. Primary responsibilities include the operation, maintenance, and continued improvement of in-house microscopy-based inspection capabilities for optical characterization of production- and research-grade mirrors; realizing improved production processes by designing, executing, and interpreting quantitative test procedures in the cleanroom and in post-process inspection; development of automated measurement solutions to support such efforts; and compiling test reports and quality control data produced along the way for presentation to the wider group. This position involves working with a small multi-disciplinary team of scientists and engineers including mechanical and materials engineers, process technicians, and physicists.


Essential Job Functions include the following, but are not limited to:

  • Operate and maintain in-house metrology tools for the inspection of precision optics and optical materials, including optimization of various imaging modes and interferometric systems in the visible and near infrared spectral regions
  • Develop and support software and automation solutions for the inspection of coating batches, as well as large-area coatings, to inform production process improvements
  • Hands-on work in the nanofab (involving lithography, wet etching, solvent-based cleaning, plasma activation, etc.) with a focus on investigating and defining potential manufacturing improvements for increased production yields
  • Provide and maintain an in-house suite of software solutions at the lab-deployable level to support TCS-wide test and measurement needs
  • Perform and evaluate efficacy of process changes for improving production yields
  • Perform optical inspection of materials, including optical substrates and epitaxial material
  • Assist with fabrication of crystalline coatings as demand dictates
  • Assist with departmental functions such as shipping and receiving, inventory control, data and documentation maintenance, as well as laboratory organization


Thorlabs values its diverse environment and is proud to be an Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer. All qualified individuals will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, genetics, disability, age or veteran status. Job descriptions are not intended as and do not create employment contracts. The organization maintains its status as an at-will employer. Employees can be terminated for any reason not prohibited by law.


Job Requirements



  • 1+ years of experience in software development for limited multi-user deployment and support required
  • 1+ years of experience in microfabrication techniques and familiarity with common tools in the field.



  • BSc. or higher in Experimental or Applied Physics, or related field such as Chemical / Electrical / Mechanical Engineering, or Materials Science


Specialized Knowledge and Skills:

  • Strong knowledge of building instrument control interfaces using Python, C, and/or C++
  • Knowledge and familiarity with microfabrication techniques and tools
  • Strong ability to work well in a group atmosphere and comply with high quality standards
  • Capability to shift from one task to another to address changing priorities
  • Experience with imaging systems will be advantageous
  • Experience with programming microcontrollers and FPGAs will be advantageous


03 May 2022
02 June 2022
Bachelor's Degree
Optical Components, Lasers, Sensors