Microelectromechanical Systems (MEMS)-based testing of materials

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

2 Scopus citations


Mechanical behavior of micro - and nanoscale materials has received considerable attention in recent years because of their widespread use in micro/nanotechnology applications. These materials are also intriguing from a scientific standpoint because their small-size scale results in mechanical behavior that is significantly different from the behavior of macroscale materials. As a result, a variety of experimental methodologies have been developed to accurately determine the mechanical properties (modulus, strength, fracture toughness, etc.) of micro - and nanoscale materials and uncover the microscopic mechanisms that lead to those properties. Among these approaches, microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) - based platforms have proven to be highly suitable because of their capability to apply and resolve extremely small forces (nN) and displacements (nm). In addition, MEMS-based testing platforms, because of their small size, are ideal for in situ characterization in electron and scanning probe microscopes, which often have stringent space limitations. This chapter provides an overview of the development and advances in MEMS-based materials characterization with an emphasis on in situ techniques. Different actuation and sensing mechanisms as well as device configurations for various types of testing (tensile, fatigue, thermomechanical) are reviewed. Key results and insights obtained from the nanomechanical characterization of thin films, nanowires, and nanotubes using MEMS-based platforms are summarized. Finally, some of the challenges and opportunities for MEMS-based micro - and nanoscale materials characterization are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationHandbook of Mechanics of Materials
PublisherSpringer Singapore
Number of pages25
ISBN (Electronic)9789811068843
ISBN (Print)9789811068836
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019


  • Mechanical testing
  • MEMS
  • Nanowires
  • Stress-strain response
  • Thin films

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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