Wednesday, 13 October 2004 - 3:30 PM

This presentation is part of : Micro- and Nano-scale Materials Characterization II

Stm/Sem Method for Strength Testing of Mems Beams

Tuncay Alan, Alan Zehnder, Maxim Zalalutdinov, and Harold Craighead. Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853

The observed fracture strength of materials when used at NEMS and MEMS scales are generally higher than the bulk properties, To study the fracture of micron scale cantilevers, we propose a new test method that makes use of an ultra high vacuum STM/SEM combination and digital image processing. The experiment consists of using a slightly blunted STM tip to load a cantilever beam. While deflecting the cantilever, a sequence of digital images of the deformed beam is acquired with the SEM, from the first load up to the point of fracture. The elastic modulus of the beam is determined before the fracture test in a separate experiment by use of resonant frequency measurement. The sequence of SEM images is processed to determine the fracture strength by first creating a (mathematical) model cantilever of the same size and cross section as the tested cantilever. Synthetic images of the deformed model cantilever are formed by mapping onto the computer screen using projection angles and magnifications determined from a separate calibration test. The final step is to compare the synthetic images to the digital ones captured by the SEM. The applied load on the model beams is iterated to obtain the best fit with the processed SEM images. To demonstrate the procedures we present initial results for untreated silicon cantilevers as well as for samples heat treated in vacuum by applying resistance heating prior to testing.

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