We report on the performance of a microelectromechanical system (MEMS) designed for the in situ electron and x-ray microscopy tensile testing of nanostructures, e.g., carbon nanotubes and nanowires. The device consists of an actuator and a load sensor with a gap in between, across which nanostructures can be placed, nanowelded, and mechanically tested. The load sensor is based on differential capacitance measurements, from which its displacement history is recorded. By determining the sensor stiffness, the load history during the testing is obtained. We calibrated the device and examined its resolution in the context of various applications of interest. The device is the first true MEMS in which the load is electronically measured. It is designed to be placed in scanning and transmission electron microscopes and on x-ray synchrotron stages.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)