A tuning fork based wide range mechanical characterization tool with nanorobotic manipulators inside a scanning electron microscope

Acosta, Juan Camilo; Hwang, Gilgueng; Polesel-Maris, Jérôme; Régnier, Stéphane
March 2011
Review of Scientific Instruments;Mar2011, Vol. 82 Issue 3, p035116
Academic Journal
This study proposes a tuning fork probe based nanomanipulation robotic system for mechanical characterization of ultraflexible nanostructures under scanning electron microscope. The force gradient is measured via the frequency modulation of a quartz tuning fork and two nanomanipulators are used for manipulation of the nanostructures. Two techniques are proposed for attaching the nanostructure to the tip of the tuning fork probe. The first technique involves gluing the nanostructure for full range characterization whereas the second technique uses van der Waals and electrostatic forces in order to avoid destroying the nanostructure. Helical nanobelts (HNB) are proposed for the demonstration of the setup. The nonlinear stiffness behavior of HNBs during their full range tensile studies is clearly revealed for the first time. Using the first technique, this was between 0.009 N/m for rest position and 0.297 N/m before breaking of the HNB with a resolution of 0.0031 N/m. For the second experiment, this was between 0.014 N/m for rest position and 0.378 N/m before detaching of the HNB with a resolution of 0.0006 N/m. This shows the wide range sensing of the system for potential applications in mechanical property characterization of ultraflexible nanostructures.


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