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Micro/Nano Materials Fatigue Tester

Global nanotechnology research spending in 2009 was $14.5 billion and is expected to double over the next 3 years. This growth demands greater accuracy and cost effectiveness in micro/nano materials testing. The properties of micro-portions of material often differ from those of larger specimens. Therefore new testing methods need to be implemented because conventional instruments cannot be miniaturized sufficiently to test micro/nano samples of material. Scientists at Utah State University have developed a device and method for reliable measurement of strain and fatigue characteristics of micro/nano scale samples. The data that can be collected with this device will accelerate the development and reliability of MEMS, Composites, and Coatings that are used in applications and products such as: automotive safety systems (airbags, rollover detection), game controllers (Nintendo Wii, Apple iPhone), stain proof fibers in clothing, chemical detection, aerospace, national defense, biotechnology, communication, data storage, and energy harvesting.
Features and Benefits
  • Micro/Nano materials testing
  • Specifically for:
    • MEMS
    • Thin films
    • Nanocomposites
    • Nanocrystals
    • And more
  • Allows for accurate measurement of material properties that were previously cost prohibitive to obtain
  • Measures strain and stress simultaneously, reducing time and cost in material research and product development
The device works by measuring the input against output voltage between two piezoelectric beams. An input voltage in one member creates mechanical deformation which is transferred to the sample. This deformation is transferred through the sample to the second member and converted into an electrical output. By measuring the differences in the voltage the strain and fatigue on the specimen can be determined. The device can be manufactured using standard semiconductor processes such as chemical etching
Development Stage
Prototype exists to continue testing and optimization for various applications.
Patent Pending
  • Application Number: 12/483115
Glenn Whichard
Senior Commercialization Associate
Physical Sciences
(435) 797-9604
Reference: W08058