Specimen's plane misaligned installation solution based on charge fluctuation inside SEM

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Original languageEnglish
Article number144102
Journal / PublicationApplied Physics Letters
Issue number14
Online published2 Apr 2018
Publication statusPublished - 2 Apr 2018



Precise specimen's installation is a sticking point to ensure the characterization accuracy of the in-situ material property test. Although it is common knowledge that specimen's plane misaligned installation (PMI) would cause extra force loading during mechanical testing, there are few effective solutions available to deal with it at the current stage, especially during the in-situ scanning electron microscopy (SEM) test. Taking into consideration the charge fluctuation phenomenon under SEM, this paper proposes a highlight area variation (HAV) method for specimen deformation judgment, i.e., the specimen deformation is defined when the highlight area changes greater than 20% of the initial value of the specimen surface. Three types of specimens with different resistivities, i.e., human hair (electrical resistivity ∼3 × 1012 Ω cm), optical fiber (electrical resistivity ∼1017 Ω cm), and magnetic wire (electrical resistivity ∼2 × 10-5 Ω cm), are chosen to verify the effectiveness of the HAV method. Furthermore, combined with the developed robot-aided alignment system, the specimen's PMI problem can also be solved. In the demonstration, the human hair specimen is installed across two specimen stages and its in-situ twisting (in 360°) test is implemented. The results clearly indicate that the HAV method and the robot-aided alignment system are practical and reliable, and the specimen can be aligned on the same plane and installed precisely with accuracy up to 3 μm. This method will benefit the in-situ SEM material mechanical property test and has a significant impact in fundamental material research.

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