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Ryan Thompson

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering


Ryan joined the Nanoscale Materials and Device Group in December of 2008 during his Freshman year at Boise State University. Ryan is an undergraduate seeking a degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering. Impressed by his wide area of interest and expertise (ranging from software programming to hardware level device development), the Nanoscale Materials and Device group hired Ryan to assist the device characterization team in performing reliability measurements on high-k semiconductor devices, as well as develop, improve and maintain the group website. Since joining, he has proved to be extremely adaptable and has successfully used his expertise and problem solving skills in a wide variety of applications.

Ryan has worked extensively with the Nanoscale Materials and Device Group’s Variable Temperature Probe Station in performing device characterization experiments at cryogenic (~5K) temperatures. These experiments are generally required to be done around the clock while the cooling system is active, and Ryan usually volunteers to take the late night shift. He has also applied his programming knowledge and experience in developing a suite of Keithley User Test Modules geared toward controlling an electronic photo shutter during an experiment.

After joining the group, Ryan was handed the existing group website with the charge to update and improve its content and functionality. Within a year, he was able to single handedly grow the website from a simple information page to a full-fledged web application complete with an equipment scheduling system, image contest submission/administration tool and user content management functionalities.

Instruments and Techniques

  • Microsoft .NET 2.5 Environment
    • ASP.NET development in C# and VB.NET
    • Interface .NET with MySQL database
    • C# development on large scale, distributed software
  • MySQL Databases
    • Create and administrate databases with large volumes of data
    • Write and execute complex SQL queries to analyze signal data
  • Linux Environment
    • Build, configure and administrate a high performance, high availability server cluster running the LAMP stack
    • Use PERL script and shell script to extract, process and reinsert data into MySQL database
  • Keithley 4200-SCS Semiconductor Characterization System
    • Perform I-V measurements on various devices
    • Connect to external equipment to perform other measurements:
      • Capacitance-Voltage
      • Conductance
    • Keithley user test module programming in C (KULT)
  • Agilent 4156C Precision Semiconductor Parameter Analyzer
    • Perform I-V measurements on various devices
    • Connect to external equipment to perform other measurements:
      • Capacitance-Voltage
      • Conductance
  • Agilent 4284 Precision LCR
    • Perform Capacitance-Voltage measurements


Peer Reviewed Journal Publications

None at this time.

Conference Publications

None at this time.

Conference Presentations and Posters

  • B. Rapp**, S. Purnell**, S. Pugmire**, R. Thompson**, R. Butler*, R. G. Southwick III, W. B. Knowlton. Thermal Effects of Light Exposure on pMOSFET Device Behavior. Poster presentation at 8th annual Undergraduate Research & Scholarship Conference (Boise, ID; April 11, 2011).
  • Ryan J. Thompson**, Shem T. Purnell**, Blake A. Rapp**, Development of Sensors for Tracking Behavior of Wildlife, poster presentation at the 2012 Undergraduate Research and Scholarship Conference (Boise, Idaho; April 16, 2012).

Honors and Awards

  • Runner up for the ECE Outstanding Idaho Society of Professional Engineers Junior of the Year Award