A promising method has been developed to determine micromechanical properties of thin film materials. Metal and ceramic thin films are used extensively in the computer microprocessor industry and in the relatively new field of Micro- Electromechanical Systems (MEMS). The push for miniaturization and increased performance out of the computer microprocessor and MEMS devices have pushed materials to their limits. Micromechanical properties are very difficult to obtain due to the lack of adequate testing equipment on the microscale. The atomic force microscope (AFM), most commonly used as an imaging tool, lends itself to mechanical interaction with the sample surface by means of a microscale cantilever probe. Using an array of microbeams fabricated from an aluminum thin film in the microfabrication facilities at RIT, the AFM was utilized to deflect the microbeams. Force and deflection information gathered yielded micromechanical properties such as stiffness and elasticity for the aluminum thin film.
Library of Congress Subject Headings
Micromechanics; Thin films--Materials; Thin films--Mechanical properties; Atomic force microscopy
Department, Program, or Center
Manufacturing and Mechanical Engineering Technology (CAST)
Comella, Brandon, "An Experimental method to determine micromechanical properties of thin films using the atomic force microscope" (1997). Thesis. Rochester Institute of Technology. Accessed from
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