Phoenix Nuclear Labs is seeking an experienced semiconductor professional to provide business development and product development support in the semiconductor industry for its high current ion implanter. This need could be filled by full or part time employment or by a limited term consulting engagement, and the start date is as soon as possible.
Background: Phoenix Nuclear Labs (PNL) is an early stage technology development company based in Madison, WI.
The core technology developed by PNL over the last 10 years is a high current, medium voltage ion accelerator with application in the following markets:
1. Medical radioisotope production
2. Neutron radiography for nondestructive testing of industrial components
3. Nuclear fuel quality control
4. Nuclear instrumentation calibration and testing
5. Radiation effects testing
6. Explosives and nuclear material detection
7. Semiconductor device manufacturing
In all of the applications above other than semiconductor manufacturing, the PNL accelerator is configured such that the accelerated ion beam is deuterium, and the ion beam impinges on a solid or gaseous (deuterium or tritium) neutron-producing target. The nominal operating point for most PNL neutron generators is 50 – 100 mA of deuterium at 300 kV beam energy. The resultant neutron yield is 100-1000 times higher than other commercially available neutron generators, which typically operate with substantially lower beam current and voltage. This increase in neutron yield results in higher-volume isotope production, faster neutron images, greater detection standoff distances, and higher-throughput QA systems.
Over the past three years, there has been increasing interest from the semiconductor industry in repurposing the PNL ion source and accelerator for ion implantation in semiconductor device manufacturing.
Benefits of the PNL technology to this industry include the following:
• H+ (proton) beam current in excess of 100 mA is significantly higher than commercially available ion implanters, leading to improved throughput
• PNL’s microwave ion source is highly stable and reliable with a lifetime of years, leading to improvements in total uptime
• PNL’s microwave ion source provides very high current density and atomic ion fraction
• System is readily operable with other gaseous ion species
The PNL technology is not suitable for all ion implantation applications, but it does offer a major throughput advantage for applications where high dose proton (or other ion species) implants are required.
• Ion beam cleaving of silicon for solar applications
• Ion beam cleaving of sapphire
• Ion beam cleaving of III-V semiconductors for applications including high performance
LEDs, power electronics, etc.
• Silicon on insulator (SOI) manufacturing
• Semiconductor amorphization
• Limiting minority carrier lifetime in IGBT’s via H+ or He+ implantation
PNL delivered its first proton implanter to a commercial customer in early 2017 and will be delivering a second system to a different commercial customer in late 2017. Both of these early customers offer the potential for long term, high volume proton implanter demand. PNL is seeking business development and product development support for further commercializing its accelerator technology in the semiconductor industry.
Responsibilities: This role will report to VP of Business Development Evan Sengbusch. His or her primary focus will be on providing market intelligence and building strategic relationships with prospective customers in the semiconductor industry. The primary near term objectives for this role are as follows:
1. Identify key customer targets and arrange for and participate in introductory
2. Support PNL in building relationships with prospective users of the PNL technology via
development contracts (e.g., customized design work for specific applications, laboratory
demonstrations, etc.) and the sale of prototype and higher-volume commercial systems.
3. Support PNL in marketing its technology and building name recognition within the
4. Provide market intelligence and product development guidance with regard to positioning
the PNL technology within the semiconductor ion implanter market landscape.
5. Provide technical expertise on the use of ion implanters in semiconductor processing to
support product development efforts of the PNL technology in this industry.
6. Support PNL in identifying new applications for its technology in the semiconductor
Near Term Objectives:
1. Generate a list of prospective customer targets and work with PNL to develop a targeted sales plan.
2. Support PNL in closing at least one new development contract and one new system sale
within the first 9 months of the engagement.
3. Provide a specific set of product development recommendations to ease adoption of a
new technology in the semiconductor processing industry.
4. Develop a 5-year product roadmap with quantified sales goals at the customer-bycustomer level within the semiconductor processing industry.
5. Support PNL customer interactions, including phone calls, meetings, and trade shows.
Desired Qualifications: A successful candidate will have at least 10 years of experience in the
semiconductor processing industry. He or she should have a bachelor’s degree in a technical
field (physics or engineering preferred) or equivalent business and technical experience.
Preference will be given to candidates with a master’s or doctoral degree in a technical
discipline. The candidate should be a highly motivated “self starter” and should be comfortable
operating in a highly autonomous fashion. The candidate will receive general guidance and
education from the President and Vice President of Business Development, but he or she will
often need to develop their own strategic sales and marketing direction without constant
oversight. He or she will be primarily responsible for generating new sales leads and strategic
collaboration opportunities. This will require direct outreach via phone, email, and in-person
visits to potential customers. An important part of the role will be to educate new customers on
the benefits offered by the PNL technology. Most potential customers will be highly educated
scientists and engineers, and a successful candidate must be able to talk confidently and
competently about ion implantation and associated semiconductor manufacturing processes.
Excellent verbal and written communication skills are an absolute requirement.
PNL is considering both full time applicants and part time consultants. Applicants must be
available to work at minimum 10 hours per week, though availability to work half-time or more
is preferred. Relocation to Madison, WI is not required but is preferred. Applicants must be
available to travel to PNL on occasion to interface with the PNL team, to support customer visits,
and to support trade shows.
Compensation: Performance in this role will be judged primarily on the ability to generate new
sales or partnership opportunities in the semiconductor industry, ultimately resulting in signed
supply and/or development agreements. The compensation package for this role will consist of a
blend of guaranteed salary or hourly compensation, plus performance-based bonus
compensation. Salary and bonus levels will be commensurate with the qualifications of the
candidate and will be negotiated before a hire is made.