Low-Cycle Fatigue Testing of Ni Nanowires Based on a Micro-Mechanical Device


Despite extensive research on the mechanical properties of one-dimensional (1-D) nanomaterials such as nanowires and nanotubes in the past two decades, experimental data on the fatigue behavior of 1-D building blocks are still very limited. Here, we demonstrate the first quantitative in situ tensile fatigue testing of individual nanowires inside a high-resolution scanning electron microscope (SEM), based on the nanoindenter-assisted “push-to-pull” dynamic tensile straining mechanism. With the robust micro-mechanical devices and independent quantitative nanoindenter for actuation and force sensing, we achieved both stress- and strain-controlled cyclic tensile loading on nanowire samples with variable loading frequencies up to 10 Hz, and demonstrated the low-cycle fatigue behavior of pristine single crystalline nickel (Ni) nanowires.

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The work was supported by the Research Grants Council of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, China under the project CityU 138813 and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC) under the project 51301147. The authors gratefully acknowledge Prof. Jun Lou and his group at Rice University for the micro-mechanical devices.

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Correspondence to Y. Lu.

Electronic supplementary material


(DOCX 242 kb)


Empty device showing cyclic loading-unloading of the Push-to-Pull MMD; video speed is played at ~4× speed. (WMV 9317 kb)


Fatigue case under displacement control mode at frequency of 0.5 Hz (shown in Fig. 2); video speed is played at ~10× speed. (WMV 6036 kb)


Fatigue case under load control mode at frequency of 0.5 Hz (shown in Fig. S1); video speed is played at ~2× speed. (WMV 7130 kb)


Fatigue case under load control mode at 10 Hz. (shown in Fig. 3); video speed is played at original speed (but the SEM scanning rate/speed cannot catch up the loading rate/speed). (WMV 3403 kb)

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Zhang, H., Jiang, C. & Lu, Y. Low-Cycle Fatigue Testing of Ni Nanowires Based on a Micro-Mechanical Device. Exp Mech 57, 495–500 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11340-016-0199-1

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  • Fatigue
  • Nanowire
  • In situ tensile testing
  • Cyclic deformation
  • Micro-mechanical device
  • Nanomechanics