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Kari Livingston

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Department of Mechanical & Biomedical Engineering

KariOver the past 2 years, Kari has gone from being the newest member of the Surface Science Lab (SSL) team to its most senior member. Kari joined the Nanoscale Materials and Device group in January of 2015. Prior to joining the group, Kari graduated from Coeur d’Alene Charter Academy in 2014 having already spent two years working towards her undergraduate degree at North Idaho College. She then moved to Boise in the summer of 2014 to continue her education by transferring to pursue a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering at Boise State.

Kari is an expert user of the SSL’s AFMs and SEM, and takes the lead role in training new users and heading up a variety of research projects related to corrosion prediction and prevention. In collaboration with Boise State Materials Science & Engineering professors Dr. Mike Hurley and Dr. Elton Graugnard (an NMDG member), Kari has used Kelvin probe force microscopy (KPFM) to map nanoscale differences in surface potential and correlate them with variations in microstructural composition of alloys detected via energy dispersive spectroscopy (EDS). She has utilized such co-localized AFM/KPFM and SEM/EDS experiments to study phase separation and resultant corrosion in a wide variety of materials systems, including novel magnesium alloys (a collaboration with Dr. Nick Birbilis of Monash University in Australia), tungsten inert gas (TIG) welds in commercially available magnesium alloys, and copper/silver and indium/copper/silver brazes used to join stainless steel members. Kari’s efforts have already resulted in a peer-reviewed publication, with more on the way.

Instruments and Techniques

  • Atomic Force and Surface Probe Microscopy (AFM/SPM)
    • Topography and Surface Roughness Analysis
      • Noncontact
      • PeakForce
      • Tapping
    • Electrical Characterization
      • Conductive and Tunneling AFM (CAFM/TUNA)
      • Electric and Kelvin Probe Force Microscopy (EFM/KPFM)
    • Fluid Imaging
  • Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM)


Peer Reviewed Journal Publications

Davis, P. H., Robles, K., Livingston, K., Johns, S., Ravi, V. A., Graugnard, E. & Hurley, M. F. “Phase Separation in Ti-6Al-4V Alloys with Boron Additions for Biomedical Applications: Scanning Kelvin Probe Force Microscopy Investigation of Microgalvanic Couples and Corrosion Initiation” JOM 69:1446-1454 (2017). doi:10.1007/s11837-017-2378-7
Kvryan, A.; Livingston, K.; Efaw, C.M.; Knori, K.; Jaques, B.J.; Davis, P.H.; Butt, D.P.; Hurley, M.F. “Microgalvanic Corrosion Behavior of Cu-Ag Active Braze Alloys Investigated with SKPFM” Metals 6: 91 (2016). doi:10.3390/met6040091

Conference Presentations and Posters

Coming soon.