, Volume 43, Issue 3, pp 248-255

A review of MEMS-based microscale and nanoscale tensile and bending testing

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Thin films at the micrometer and submicrometer scales exhibit mechanical properties that are different than those of bulk polycrystals. Industrial application of these materials requires accurate mechanical characterization. Also, a fundamental understanding of the deformation processes at smaller length scales is required to exploit the size and interface effects to develop new and technologically attractive materials. Specimen fabrication, small-scale force and displacement generation, and high resolution in the measurements are generic challenges in microscale and nanoscale mechanical testing. In this paper, we review small-scale materials testing techniques with special focus on the application of microelectromechanical systems (MEMS). Small size and high force and displacement resolution make MEMS suitable for small-scale mechanical testing. We discuss the development of tensile and bending testing techniques using MEMS, along with the experimental results on nanoscale aluminum specimens.