We report the development of a material testing system for in situ electron microscopy (EM) mechanical testing of nanostructures. The testing system consists of an actuator and a load sensor fabricated by means of surface micromachining. This previously undescribed nanoscale material testing system makes possible continuous observation of the specimen deformation and failure with subnanometer resolution, while simultaneously measuring the applied load electronically with nanonewton resolution. This achievement was made possible by the integration of electromechanical and thermomechanical components based on microelectromechanical system technology. The system capabilities are demonstrated by the in situ EM testing of free-standing polysilicon films, metallic nanowires, and carbon nanotubes. In particular, a previously undescribed real-time instrumented in situ transmission EM observation of carbon nanotubes failure under tensile load is presented here.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America|
|State||Published - Oct 11 2005|
- Carbon nanotube
- Microelectromechanical system
ASJC Scopus subject areas