Activation energy measurement in thin gold film by MEMS-based tensile testing device

Jong H. Han, M Taher A Saif

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


In this paper, we report a methodology to measure activation energy for time-dependent stress-relaxation in a thin free-standing tensile specimen by utilizing a MEMS-based tensile testing device. An analytical model is developed to investigate its stress-relaxation behavior. Along with this analytical model of the MEMS tensile tester, Arrhenius relation is applied to estimate relaxation times for different temperatures of a free-standing sample beam. From the relation between relaxation time and temperature, the activation energy for the stress-relaxation is obtained. For a 200-nm Au film, we obtained the relaxation time of 250, 67, and 40 seconds for the corresponding temperatures of 295, 312, and 323 K, respectively. The activation energy for stress-relaxation was 0.544 eV. The experimental data is fitted with the analytical model to find the relaxation time. The thin film on the MEMS tensile tester is prepared by sputter-deposition. By optical lithography and ICP DRIE Si etching, the MEMS tensile tester with a free standing beam is fabricated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberIMECE2004-61385
Pages (from-to)187-190
Number of pages4
JournalAmerican Society of Mechanical Engineers, Materials Division (Publication) MD
StatePublished - 2004
Event2004 ASME International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition, IMECE - Anaheim, CA, United States
Duration: Nov 13 2004Nov 19 2004


  • Activation Energy
  • Gold(Au)
  • MEMS
  • Relaxation Time
  • Thin Film
  • Time-Dependent Stress Relaxation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Engineering


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