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Polymer Mechanics Laboratory

Research > MEMS

Experimental technique for fatigue testing of MEMS in liquids

A MEMs device that allows for fatigue tensile testing of MEMs materials in liquid environments is described in this paper. A bulk micromachined MEMS tensile specimen with integral grips was fabricated, and tensile tensile fatigue tests were performed in air and saline solution. Cyclic tensile loads were applied using a piezoelectric actuator while cyclic displacements were measured with a laser vibrometer. Fatigue life for the 200 nm thick aluminum specimen was observed to range between 1.2 x 106 to 2.2 x106 cycles when tested at equal values of mean and alternating stresses of 0.13 GPa. This MEMS device with integral grips can be applied to study corrosion fatigue for other MEMS materials in different liquid environments.

Fig. 1: Optical image of failed aluminum tensile specimen after testing