Test bed for mechanical characterization of nanowires

A. V. Desai, M. A. Haque

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Nanowires are one-dimensional solids that are deemed to be the building-block materials for next-generation sensors and actuators. Owing to their unique length scale, they exhibit superior mechanical properties and other length-scale-dependent phenomena. Most of these are challenging to explore, owing to the difficulties in specimen preparation, manipulation, and the requirement of high-resolution force and displacement sensing. To address these issues, a micromechanical device for uniaxial mechanical testing of single nanowires and nanotubes is used here. The device has 10 nN force and 1 nm displacement resolution and its small size (2 ×1 mm) allows for in situ experimentation inside analytical chambers, such as the electron microscopes. A microscale pick-and-place technique is presented as a generic specimen preparation and manipulation method for testing single nanowires. Preliminary results on zinc oxide nanowires show the Young's modulus and fracture strain to be about 76 GPa and 8 per cent respectively.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)57-65
Number of pages9
JournalProceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part N: Journal of Nanoengineering and Nanosystems
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1 2005

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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