3D printed micro-mechanical device (MMD) for in situ tensile testing of micro/nanowires

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journal

4 Scopus Citations
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  • Libo Gao
  • Wenzhao Zhou
  • Xiang Li


Original languageEnglish
Article number100575
Journal / PublicationExtreme Mechanics Letters
Online published27 Sep 2019
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2019


The rise of one-dimensional micro/nanomaterials requires comprehensive understanding on their mechanical properties. Recently, MEMS (micro-electromechanical system)-type devices become an efficient tool for characterizing the mechanical behavior of 1D micro/nanomaterials under high resolution electron microscope or optical microscope. However, existing microfabricated MEMS devices are developed and manufactured based on silicon photolithography processes, which are extremely time consuming and costly. The design, fabrication as well as releasing of such silicon-based devices are also challenging. Here, we proposed to design and manufacture a micro-mechanical device (MMD, based on our earlier design) via projection micro-stereolithography-based 3D printing. The versatility of the high-resolution 3D printing allows the fabrication of a wide range of MMDs with various design and dimensions, facilitating the in situ tensile testing of micro/nanowires with diameters ranging from nanometers to microns. We demonstrated the characterization of tensile behavior of SiC nanowires inside a scanning electron microscope and lead zirconate titanate microwires under an optical microscope by using our 3D printed devices, respectively, suggesting the potential to revolutionize micro/nanomechanical characterization of low-dimensional materials by 3D printing of micro-mechanical or MEMS devices.

Research Area(s)

  • 3D printing, in situ tensile testing, MEMS, Micro-mechanical device, Microwire, Nanowire