Mechanical Characterization of Nanowires Using a Customized Atomic Force Microscope
A new experimental method is introduced in order to characterize the mechanical properties of mettalic nanowires. An accurate mechanical characterization of nanowires requires the imaging with scanning electron microscope (SEM) and the bending of nanowires with an atomic force microscope (AFM). In this study, an AFM is located inside an SEM in order to establish the visibility of the nanowires. The tip of the AFM cantilever is utilized to bend and break the nanowires. Nanowire specimens are prepared by electroplating of metal ions into the nanoscale pores of the alumina memberanes. The mechanical properties are extracted by using analytical formulation along with the experimental force versus bending displacement response. Preliminary results revealed that copper nanowires have unique mechanical properties such as high flexibility in addition to high strength compared to their bulk counterparts.
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