August 31, 2016 – Although she is just starting her junior year as a mechanical and biomedical engineering major at Boise State, Nanoscale Materials and Device Group (NMDG) member and Surface Science Lab (SSL) student researcher Kari Livingston already has a leg up on graduate school. Livingston co-authored a peer reviewed journal article that was accepted for publication this past spring.
The paper, titled “Microgalvanic Corrosion Behavior of Cu-Ag Active Braze Alloys Investigated with SKPFM,” was an invited contribution to a special issue of the journal Metals, focused on the oxidation of metals. SSL manager Paul Davis and former NMDG member and SSL student researcher Corey Efaw were also co-authors.
The work involved a collaboration among Boise State Micron School of Materials Science and Engineering faculty members Brian Jacques, Darryl Butt and Mike Hurley. Livingston worked with materials science graduate student Armen Kvryan to co-localize Kelvin Probe Force Microscopy measurements, which allow nanoscale mapping of variations in surface potential or work function, and energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy to correlate variations in microstructural composition with observed surface potential differences. These nanoscale variations were then linked to macroscopic corrosion behavior, with the goal of understanding how to prevent corrosion in brazes, which are a low temperature alternative to welding for joining together metal parts.