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Lance Patten

Graduate Research Assistant

Micron School of Material Science and Engineering


Lance first joined the Nanoscale Materials and Device Group during the summer of 2013 as an ungraduated research assistant. He worked for both the Nanoscale Materials and Device Group and Dr. Peter Müllner’s research group working on magnetic shape-memory alloys (MSMAs), mainly Ni-Mn-Ga. The projects he was working on as an undergraduate involved single crystals and thin films of Ni-Mn-Ga. The single crystal experiments involved indenting single crystals and then analyzing/categorizing their response. For thin films, Lance categorized their magnetic response. Lance started in the group at the beginning of his senior year in Materials Science and Engineering. His senior project was on the “Grain Size Refinement of Alloy 617 for use in Intermediate Heat Exchangers” sponsored by Idaho National Laboratory.

After graduation, he began to pursue a graduate degree in materials science. For a year, Lance was a graduate research assistant in the Radiation Materials Science Group and Xiong Electrochemical Energy Materials Group where he studied the irradiation effects on titanium dioxide nanotubes. He correspondingly performed Monte Carlo simulations and heat transfer calculations to control irradiation damage on the titanium dioxide nanotubes. Lance earned an internship at Micron Technology, Inc. in their surface science laboratory. As an intern he was able to perform his own characterization experiments using atomic force microscopy with data analysis and comprehensive follow-up reports. Lance also had exposure to additional surface characterization techniques including AES, EBSD, and etc.

After the internship and a year of school Lance graduated with his Masters of Engineering in the summer of 2016. In fall of 2016, he returned to graduate school to join the Excitonics team working towards a Ph.D. in materials science and engineering. His goal is to obtain the degree by spring of 2020. In his spare time, he enjoys a balance between being outside and inside.

Instruments and Techniques

  • Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM)
    • Bruker Dimension Icon FastScan Scanning Probe Microscope with Nanoscope V
    • Bruker Dimension 3100 Scanning Probe Microscope (formerly Digital Instruments/Veeco) with Nanoscope IV Controller
    • Hysitron TS 75 Triboscope Nanomechanical & Nanoindentation System for use with Dimension 3100 SPM
    • Basic Imaging Modes
      •  Contact Mode
      • Noncontact Mode
      • Tapping Mode
    •  Advanced Imaging Modes
      • PeakForce Tapping Mode
      • Magnetic Force Microscopy (MFM)
      • Kelvin Force Microscopy (KPFM)
      • Tunneling Atomic Force Microscopy (TUNA)
      • Nanomanipulation and Nanolithography System (NanoMan)
  • Miscellaneous
    •  FEI Phenom Desktop Scanning Electron Microscope
    •  Struers LaboPol-5 Polishing Wheel
    •  Vibratory Polisher
    • Allied TechCut 4 Wafer Saw


Peer Reviewed Journal Publications

None at this time.

Conference Presentations and Posters

  • Lance Patten, Feng Chen, Chad Watson, William B. Knowlton, Peter Müllner, Magnetic Force Microscopy on Ni-Co-Mn-Sn Ribbons, poster presented at the 11th annual Undergraduate Research & Scholarship Conference (Boise, Idaho; April 21, 2014)
  • Gary Mitchell, Lance Patten, Lejmarc Snowball, Grain Size Refinement of Alloy 617, poster presented at the 11th annual Undergraduate Research & Scholarship Conference (Boise, Idaho; April 21, 2014)

Honors And Awards

  • From spring 2009 to fall 2010, Lance received the Robert R. Lee Promise Scholarship.
  • From spring 2009 to fall 2012, Lance received the Laura Moore Cunningham Scholarship.
  • From fall 2009 to spring 2010, Lance received the Boise State Foundation scholarship.
  • From fall 2012 to spring 2013, Lance received a Materials Science & Engineering scholarship through Boise State.
  • From fall 2012 to fall 2013, Lance received the Brown Engineering Scholarship.
  • In fall of 2012, Lance was nominated for Outstanding Engineering Student Award by Idaho Society of Professional Engineers (ISPE).
  • In spring of 2014, Lance received the Engineering Deans Scholarship