Battery Scientist, Reliability Physics
Santa Clara, CA, USA
Posted on Wednesday, October 4, 2023
Natron Energy seeks a battery cell scientist to lead ongoing battery cell research projects. Natron Energy’s ability to produce batteries that perform reliably across a variety of customer use cases requires a deep fundamental understanding of the unique Prussian blue analogue cell chemistry and its failure mechanisms. The battery cell scientist will work closely with a small team, employing a rigorous fundamental scientific research approach, to continually improve upon the fundamental understanding of the Natron Energy batteries’ physics of failure. They will formulate and execute materials-level, component-level and cell-level experiments with the objective of deepening Natron Energy’s understanding of battery cell component structure property relationships.
The battery cell scientist will be responsible for independently driving cell research projects from the generation of new ideas to experimental execution, data analysis and final reporting. They will assist in converting experimental findings to specifications that will improve Natron Energy’s battery quality and reliability as the technology scales up to high-volume manufacturing. They will work on cross-disciplinary teams to solve complex problems and implement robust solutions. A qualified candidate will have a solid foundation in chemistry, materials science, or a related field with ample hands-on lab experience. They are detail-oriented, self-motivated, a strong communicator, and have the flexibility to continuously self-educate.
- Perform failure analysis on battery cells, including destructive analysis of aged battery cells and subsequent characterization of degradation byproducts.
- Execute and analyze data from materials characterization techniques such as SEM, EDX, FTIR, KF, PSD, BET, XRD, ICP-OES, ICP-MS, XPS, XRF, Raman, GC-MS, NMR, ion chromatography, etc.
- Correlate physical characterization findings to signatures in electrochemical data.
- Battery pouch cell fabrication and testing including GCPL, CV, EIS, etc.
- Recommend improvements to material and process specifications based on experimental findings.
- Collaborate with and communicate findings to cross-disciplinary team members.
- Collaborate with lab mates to maintain shared equipment and upkeep an orderly lab.
- PhD in Materials Science, Chemistry, Chemical Engineering, or similar field, or M.S. plus 2+ years experience.
- 4+ years of hands-on lab research experience, in academic or industry environment.
- Direct experience with executing and analyzing data from materials characterization techniques such as SEM, EDX, FTIR, KF, TGA, PSD, BET, XRD, ICP-OES, ICP-MS, XPS, XRF, Raman, GC-MS, NMR, ion chromatography, etc.
- In-depth knowledge of procedures and limitations for at least four of the above characterization techniques.
- Direct experience with working in a glovebox.
- Good understanding of design of experiments and FMEA.
- Good fundamental understanding of electrochemistry; ability to interpret battery test data.
- Self-motivated, team-player, do what it takes attitude, excited about problem-solving.
- Strong foundation in lab safety with good organizational skills.
- Hands-on lab experience with relevant battery chemistries such as Li-ion, including battery material synthesis, electrode fabrication and formulation, electrolyte formulation, cell design and construction, etc.
- Direct experience working with battery testers such as Arbin and BioLogic; writing test schedules and analyzing data from such battery testers.
- Ability to perform statistical analysis using software such as Minitab or JMP.
- This is a full time, permanent position.
- Employees must work on-site in Santa Clara
- Disclaimer: The actual salary of a successful applicant may vary from posted ranges based on the candidate’s experience, knowledge, skills, and abilities, internal equity and alignment with market data, and other legitimate business reasons, including, but not limited to, compliance with applicable immigration law prevailing wages.
- In addition, Natron Energy has a strong benefits package including Medical, Dental, Vision, 401k Plan with Match, Life Insurance, Parental Leave Benefits, Discretionary Time Off (DTO) and Paid Time Off (PTO) for Exempt and Non-Exempt employees respectively, and 11 paid holidays.
- The salary range for this position is a minimum of $130,000 and a maximum of $176,000.
Natron Energy (natron.energy) is the future of energy storage. Natron Energy’s battery products solve operations performance and reliability problems for the world’s biggest electricity customers. Natron Energy’s initial products target markets exceeding $25B including data centers, oil & gas, EV fast charging, and commercial aviation. Natron Energy has additional products in development for >$50B markets including commercial and residential grid storage. Its products are based on sodium-ion cells containing Prussian blue electrodes that deliver unique power, cycle life, and safety: full discharge and recharge in just minutes and up to 50,000 deep discharge cycles from a nonflammable, fault-tolerant system. Natron Energy’s current production is sold out for the next 12 months. The company has signed over $225M/year in master sales agreements and LOIs, and scale-up to mass production is now underway. Natron Energy has raised over $155M in venture capital investment to date, as well as $35M in non-dilutive funding to support its supply chain scale up.
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