A millinewton microloading device

M Taher A Saif, N. C. MacDonald

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

We present a new microelectromechanical device that can apply a compressive or tensile force on the order of a millinewton quasistatically by electrically actuating a set of comb capacitors. The same capacitors can be used to sense the displacement of the device by recording the change of capacitance. The device is fabricated using the SCREAM (single-crystal reactive etching and metallization) process developed at Cornell. The functionality of the device is demonstrated by compressing two slender bars and buckling them. The buckling experiment is then used to calibrate the load generated by the device and the spring constant. The device can be applied to the characterization of materials as their size is reduced to the sub-micron scale. An assortment of test samples can be patterned, cofabricated, and attached to the device, including 20 nm diameter tips, composite beams of thin films, thin-film plates (e.g., polysilicon) and other more complex micromechanical structures. It can also be coupled with other devices to improve their performance, such as tuning resonance frequencies by applying tension or compression. The material samples or other devices can be integrated, i.e., designed, patterned, and cofabricated with the loading device, thus avoiding the problem of attachment and alignment. The device's small size, low thermal mass, vacuum compatibility, and built-in vibration isolation allow material characterization to be performed over a wide range of environmental conditions: high vacuum (electron microscopy and surface analysis), high humidity, high pressure, and high and low temperatures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)65-75
Number of pages11
JournalSensors and Actuators, A: Physical
Volume52
Issue number1-3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1996
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Buckling
Capacitors
Microelectromechanical devices
Vacuum
Thin films
Surface analysis
Metallizing
Polysilicon
Electron microscopy
Etching
Atmospheric humidity
Compaction
Capacitance
Tuning
Single crystals
buckling
Composite materials
capacitors
Experiments
Temperature

Keywords

  • Buckling
  • Capacitors
  • Capillarity
  • Devices
  • Finite element
  • Load
  • Microelectromechanical instruments
  • Stability
  • Stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Instrumentation
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Metals and Alloys
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

Cite this

A millinewton microloading device. / Saif, M Taher A; MacDonald, N. C.

In: Sensors and Actuators, A: Physical, Vol. 52, No. 1-3, 01.01.1996, p. 65-75.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Saif, M Taher A ; MacDonald, N. C. / A millinewton microloading device. In: Sensors and Actuators, A: Physical. 1996 ; Vol. 52, No. 1-3. pp. 65-75.
@article{56dc1db7ddd349daa4c4252ece6e2169,
title = "A millinewton microloading device",
abstract = "We present a new microelectromechanical device that can apply a compressive or tensile force on the order of a millinewton quasistatically by electrically actuating a set of comb capacitors. The same capacitors can be used to sense the displacement of the device by recording the change of capacitance. The device is fabricated using the SCREAM (single-crystal reactive etching and metallization) process developed at Cornell. The functionality of the device is demonstrated by compressing two slender bars and buckling them. The buckling experiment is then used to calibrate the load generated by the device and the spring constant. The device can be applied to the characterization of materials as their size is reduced to the sub-micron scale. An assortment of test samples can be patterned, cofabricated, and attached to the device, including 20 nm diameter tips, composite beams of thin films, thin-film plates (e.g., polysilicon) and other more complex micromechanical structures. It can also be coupled with other devices to improve their performance, such as tuning resonance frequencies by applying tension or compression. The material samples or other devices can be integrated, i.e., designed, patterned, and cofabricated with the loading device, thus avoiding the problem of attachment and alignment. The device's small size, low thermal mass, vacuum compatibility, and built-in vibration isolation allow material characterization to be performed over a wide range of environmental conditions: high vacuum (electron microscopy and surface analysis), high humidity, high pressure, and high and low temperatures.",
keywords = "Buckling, Capacitors, Capillarity, Devices, Finite element, Load, Microelectromechanical instruments, Stability, Stress",
author = "Saif, {M Taher A} and MacDonald, {N. C.}",
year = "1996",
month = "1",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1016/0924-4247(96)80127-0",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "52",
pages = "65--75",
journal = "Sensors and Actuators, A: Physical",
issn = "0924-4247",
publisher = "Elsevier",
number = "1-3",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - A millinewton microloading device

AU - Saif, M Taher A

AU - MacDonald, N. C.

PY - 1996/1/1

Y1 - 1996/1/1

N2 - We present a new microelectromechanical device that can apply a compressive or tensile force on the order of a millinewton quasistatically by electrically actuating a set of comb capacitors. The same capacitors can be used to sense the displacement of the device by recording the change of capacitance. The device is fabricated using the SCREAM (single-crystal reactive etching and metallization) process developed at Cornell. The functionality of the device is demonstrated by compressing two slender bars and buckling them. The buckling experiment is then used to calibrate the load generated by the device and the spring constant. The device can be applied to the characterization of materials as their size is reduced to the sub-micron scale. An assortment of test samples can be patterned, cofabricated, and attached to the device, including 20 nm diameter tips, composite beams of thin films, thin-film plates (e.g., polysilicon) and other more complex micromechanical structures. It can also be coupled with other devices to improve their performance, such as tuning resonance frequencies by applying tension or compression. The material samples or other devices can be integrated, i.e., designed, patterned, and cofabricated with the loading device, thus avoiding the problem of attachment and alignment. The device's small size, low thermal mass, vacuum compatibility, and built-in vibration isolation allow material characterization to be performed over a wide range of environmental conditions: high vacuum (electron microscopy and surface analysis), high humidity, high pressure, and high and low temperatures.

AB - We present a new microelectromechanical device that can apply a compressive or tensile force on the order of a millinewton quasistatically by electrically actuating a set of comb capacitors. The same capacitors can be used to sense the displacement of the device by recording the change of capacitance. The device is fabricated using the SCREAM (single-crystal reactive etching and metallization) process developed at Cornell. The functionality of the device is demonstrated by compressing two slender bars and buckling them. The buckling experiment is then used to calibrate the load generated by the device and the spring constant. The device can be applied to the characterization of materials as their size is reduced to the sub-micron scale. An assortment of test samples can be patterned, cofabricated, and attached to the device, including 20 nm diameter tips, composite beams of thin films, thin-film plates (e.g., polysilicon) and other more complex micromechanical structures. It can also be coupled with other devices to improve their performance, such as tuning resonance frequencies by applying tension or compression. The material samples or other devices can be integrated, i.e., designed, patterned, and cofabricated with the loading device, thus avoiding the problem of attachment and alignment. The device's small size, low thermal mass, vacuum compatibility, and built-in vibration isolation allow material characterization to be performed over a wide range of environmental conditions: high vacuum (electron microscopy and surface analysis), high humidity, high pressure, and high and low temperatures.

KW - Buckling

KW - Capacitors

KW - Capillarity

KW - Devices

KW - Finite element

KW - Load

KW - Microelectromechanical instruments

KW - Stability

KW - Stress

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=0030100388&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=0030100388&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1016/0924-4247(96)80127-0

DO - 10.1016/0924-4247(96)80127-0

M3 - Article

AN - SCOPUS:0030100388

VL - 52

SP - 65

EP - 75

JO - Sensors and Actuators, A: Physical

JF - Sensors and Actuators, A: Physical

SN - 0924-4247

IS - 1-3

ER -