Senior PVD Development Engineer

First Solar

First Solar

Perrysburg, OH, USA
Posted on Saturday, April 13, 2024

Job Description

First Solar reserves the right to offer you a role most applicable to your experience and skillset.

Basic Job Functions:

  • Thin film deposition and materials research to improve conversion efficiency of thin film solar cells.
  • Responsible for projects or functions that are highly complex, require significant innovation and critical to department objectives.
  • Plan, execute and characterize development engineering experiments in the laboratory and manufacturing environment with strategic foresight. Success requires iterative planning and de-risking over long periods.
  • Applies statistical and engineering methods to optimize organizational effectiveness. Core leader within the group in one or more areas.


  • Bachelor’s Degree in an engineering discipline or similar technical discipline and 20 years of relevant technical experience or 2 years of experience as a Development Engineer III at First Solar.
  • Master’s Degree in an engineering discipline or similar technical discipline and 15 years of relevant technical experience or 2 years of experience as a Development Engineer III at First Solar.
  • Ph.D. in an engineering discipline or similar technical discipline and 10 years of relevant technical experience or 2 years of experience as a Development Engineer III at First Solar.
  • Experience with Semiconductor/PV and understanding of PV device is a plus.

Required Skills/Competencies:

  • Technical expert in vacuum technology and multiple thin film deposition techniques including sputtering, ALD, and evaporation.
  • Strong fundamental understanding and appreciation of process / equipment interactions and ability to develop new solutions.
  • Expertise in thin film characterization techniques including electron microscopy and X-ray techniques (XRF, XRD, XPS, etc.).
  • Data analysis and technical reporting.
  • In depth knowledge in several fields from the list of photovoltaic device theory, materials science, process engineering, characterization techniques and other fields relevant to First Solar's technology.
  • Strong sense of project ownership with hands-on and can-do attitude.
  • Strong communication skills across organizations with demonstrated ability to lead cross-functional teams.

Essential Responsibilities:

  • Stays current with state-of-the-art thin film deposition technologies and identifies technologies that could add value to First Solar.
  • Responsible for materials innovation and deposition processes.
  • Design, execute, analyze, and report experiments with necessary follow up.
  • Realizes tool capabilities by implementing changes and/or working with tool owners to coordinate tool changes. Identifies key process characteristics based on understanding of the material science and process technology.
  • Improve state of the art techniques for material analysis, statistical analysis of data, or execution planning of experiments. Develop a work plan that have unclear solution paths.
  • May be responsible to determine and evaluate material specification for improved performance. May be responsible to determine and evaluate tool/equipment specifications.
  • Effective communicator with internal and external partners and customers. Demonstrated ability to lead cross-functional efforts as needed.
  • May train, mentor and manage junior and peers on specific subject matters. Specialist within the group.
  • Complies with Company's Environmental, Quality, Safety or any other policies that have been enforced. Contributes to continuous improvement of said policies.
  • Other duties as assigned.
  • Job description subject to change at any time.

Reporting Relationships:

  • Reports to Development Manager.
  • Will have direct reports.


  • Less than 10% travel required.

Estimated Salary Range:

  • $94,700 - $140,000 Annually

US Physical Requirements:

  • Will sit, stand, or walk short distances for up to the entire duration of a shift.
  • Will climb stairs on an occasional basis.
  • Will lift, push, or pull up to 27 pounds on an occasional basis.
  • Required to use hands to grasp, lift, handle, carry or feel objects on a frequent basis.
  • 20/40 vision in each eye, with or without correction, is required.
  • Must be able to comply with all safety standards and procedures.
  • May reach above shoulder heights and below the waist on a frequent basis.
  • May stoop, kneel, or bend, on an occasional basis.
  • Ability to wear personal protective equipment is required (including but not limited to steel toed shoes, gloves, safety glasses, hearing protection, protective jacket or apron and arm guards).
  • All associates working on the production floor may be required to wear a respirator at any given time and thus, the ability to wear a respirator is a condition of employment and continued employment (requires little or no facial hair).

Potential candidates will meet the education and experience requirements provided on the above job description and excel in completing the listed responsibilities for this role. All candidates receiving an offer of employment must successfully complete a background check and any other tests that may be required.

Equal Opportunity Employer Statement: First Solar is an Equal Opportunity Employer that values and respects the importance of a diverse and inclusive workforce. It is the policy of the company to recruit, hire, train, and promote persons in all job titles without regard to race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, veteran status, disability, sexual orientation, or gender identity. We recognize that diversity and inclusion is a driving force in the success of our company.