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Micromachines, Volume 9, Issue 6 (June 2018)

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Cover Story (view full-size image) For inertial microfluidic systems, fluid flow and inertial particle focusing are highly dependent [...] Read more.
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Open AccessArticle Frequency Tuning of Graphene Nanoelectromechanical Resonators via Electrostatic Gating
Micromachines 2018, 9(6), 312; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi9060312
Received: 16 April 2018 / Revised: 11 May 2018 / Accepted: 31 May 2018 / Published: 20 June 2018
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Abstract
In this article, we report on a comprehensive modeling study of frequency tuning of graphene resonant nanoelectromechanical systems (NEMS) via electrostatic coupling forces induced by controlling the voltage of a capacitive gate. The model applies to both doubly clamped graphene membranes and circumference-clamped
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In this article, we report on a comprehensive modeling study of frequency tuning of graphene resonant nanoelectromechanical systems (NEMS) via electrostatic coupling forces induced by controlling the voltage of a capacitive gate. The model applies to both doubly clamped graphene membranes and circumference-clamped circular drumhead device structures. Frequency tuning of these devices can be predicted by considering both capacitive softening and elastic stiffening. It is shown that the built-in strain in the device strongly dictates the frequency tuning behavior and tuning range. We also find that doubly clamped graphene resonators can have a wider frequency tuning range, while circular drumhead devices have higher initial resonance frequency with same device characteristic parameters. Further, the parametric study in this work clearly shows that a smaller built-in strain, smaller depth of air gap or cavity, and larger device size or characteristic length (e.g., length for doubly clamped devices, and diameter for circular drumheads) help achieve a wider range of electrostatic frequency tunability. This study builds a solid foundation that can offer important device fabrication and design guidelines for achieving radio frequency components (e.g., voltage controlled oscillators and filters) with the desired frequencies and tuning ranges. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Carbon Based Materials for MEMS/NEMS)
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Open AccessArticle Design and Performance Test of an Ocean Turbulent Kinetic Energy Dissipation Rate Measurement Probe
Micromachines 2018, 9(6), 311; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi9060311
Received: 13 May 2018 / Revised: 11 June 2018 / Accepted: 13 June 2018 / Published: 20 June 2018
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Abstract
Ocean turbulent kinetic energy dissipation rate is an essential parameter in marine environmental monitoring. Numerous probes have been designed to measure the turbulent kinetic energy dissipation rate in the past, and most of them utilize piezoelectric ceramics as the sensing element. In this
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Ocean turbulent kinetic energy dissipation rate is an essential parameter in marine environmental monitoring. Numerous probes have been designed to measure the turbulent kinetic energy dissipation rate in the past, and most of them utilize piezoelectric ceramics as the sensing element. In this paper, an ocean turbulent kinetic energy dissipation rate measurement probe utilizing a microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) piezoresistor as the sensing element has been designed and tested. The triangle cantilever beam and piezoresistive sensor chip are the core components of the designed probe. The triangle cantilever beam acts as a velocity-force signal transfer element, the piezoresistive sensor chip acts as a force-electrical signal transfer element, and the piezoresistive sensor chip is bonded on the triangle cantilever beam. One end of the triangle cantilever beam is a nylon sensing head which contacts with fluid directly, and the other end of it is a printed circuit board which processes the electrical signal. A finite element method has been used to study the effect of the cantilever beam on probe performance. The Taguchi optimization methodology is applied to optimize the structure parameters of the cantilever beam. An orthogonal array, signal-to-noise ratio, and analysis of variance are studied to analyze the effect of these parameters. Through the use of the designed probe, we can acquire the fluid flow velocity, and to obtain the ocean turbulent dissipation rate, an attached signal processing system has been designed. To verify the performance of the designed probe, tests in the laboratory and in the Bohai Sea are designed and implemented. The test results show that the designed probe has a measurement range of 10−8–10−4 W/kg and a sensitivity of 3.91 × 10−4 (Vms2)/kg. The power spectrum calculated from the measured velocities shows good agreement with the Nasmyth spectrum. The comparative analysis between the designed probe in this paper and the commonly used PNS probe has also been completed. The designed probe can be a strong candidate in marine environmental monitoring. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue MEMS Accelerometers)
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Open AccessArticle Fatigue Assessment by Blink Detected with Attachable Optical Sensors of Dye-Sensitized Photovoltaic Cells
Micromachines 2018, 9(6), 310; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi9060310
Received: 11 May 2018 / Revised: 8 June 2018 / Accepted: 14 June 2018 / Published: 20 June 2018
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Abstract
This paper demonstrates fatigue assessment based on eye blinks that are detected by dye-sensitized photovoltaic cells. In particular, the sensors were attached to the temple of eyeglasses and positioned at the lateral side of the eye. They are wearable, did not majorly disturb
[...] Read more.
This paper demonstrates fatigue assessment based on eye blinks that are detected by dye-sensitized photovoltaic cells. In particular, the sensors were attached to the temple of eyeglasses and positioned at the lateral side of the eye. They are wearable, did not majorly disturb the user’s eyesight, and detected the position of the eyelid or the eye state. The optimal location of the sensor was experimentally investigated by evaluating the detection accuracy of blinks. We conducted fatigue assessment experiments using the developed wearable system, or smart glasses. Several parameters, including the frequency, duration, and velocity of eye blinks, were extracted as fatigue indices. Successful fatigue assessment by the proposed system will be of great benefit for maximizing performance and maintenance of physical/mental health. Full article
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Open AccessArticle A Flexible Annular Sectorial Sensor for Detecting Contact Position Based on Constant Electric Field
Micromachines 2018, 9(6), 309; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi9060309
Received: 29 April 2018 / Revised: 7 June 2018 / Accepted: 15 June 2018 / Published: 19 June 2018
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Abstract
To achieve tactile detection on the irregular surface of a robot link, a flexible annular sectorial sensor with a five-layer structure was proposed that could be wrapped on the surface of a truncated cone-shaped link. The sensor was designed for the detection of
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To achieve tactile detection on the irregular surface of a robot link, a flexible annular sectorial sensor with a five-layer structure was proposed that could be wrapped on the surface of a truncated cone-shaped link. The sensor was designed for the detection of a contact position when robots collide with other objects during movement. The sensor obtains the coordinates of the contact position by exerting a constant electric field on the upper and lower conductive layers. The mathematical model linking the coordinates of the contact position and the corresponding electric potential on the conductive layer was established, based on the uniqueness of the electric field. The design of the sensor was simulated using COMSOL software, and the detection error of the contact position was discussed. A sensor sample was fabricated and wrapped on the mechanical arm. The results of the simulations and experiments indicated that the flexible sensor performed very well when wrapped on the robot link. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tactile Sensing for Soft Robotics and Wearables)
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Open AccessArticle Rigid-Flex PCB Technology with Embedded Fluidic Cavities and Its Application in Electromagnetic Energy Harvesters
Micromachines 2018, 9(6), 308; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi9060308
Received: 9 May 2018 / Revised: 7 June 2018 / Accepted: 11 June 2018 / Published: 19 June 2018
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Abstract
A technology platform based on commercial printed circuit boards (PCB) technology is developed and presented. It integrates rigid flame retardant (FR)-4 boards, flexible polyimide (PI) structures, and embedded cavities for micro- and meso-scale applications. The cavities or channels can be filled with fluids
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A technology platform based on commercial printed circuit boards (PCB) technology is developed and presented. It integrates rigid flame retardant (FR)-4 boards, flexible polyimide (PI) structures, and embedded cavities for micro- and meso-scale applications. The cavities or channels can be filled with fluids for microfluidic and lab-on-chip systems. In this study, an electromagnetic energy harvester with enhanced output was designed and implemented in the platform. To enhance harvester output, the embedded cavities were filled with ferrofluid (FF) to improve the overall magnetic circuit design and electromechanical coupling of the device. The fabricated PCB-based harvester had a dimension of 20 mm × 20 mm × 4 mm. Vibration tests of the harvesters were conducted with different magnet sizes and different FF. Test results showed up to a 70% enhancement of output voltage and a 195% enhancement of output power when the cavities were filled with oil-based FF as compared with harvesters without FF. When the cavities were filled with water-based FF, the enhancement of voltage and power increased to 25% and 50%, respectively. The maximum output power delivered to a matched load at a 196-Hz resonance frequency and 1 grms vibration was estimated to be 2.3 µW, corresponding to an area power density of 0.58 µW/cm2 and a volume power density of 1.4 µW/cm3, respectively. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microsystems for Power, Energy, and Actuation)
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Open AccessArticle Self-Assembled Mucin-Containing Microcarriers via Hard Templating on CaCO3 Crystals
Micromachines 2018, 9(6), 307; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi9060307
Received: 9 May 2018 / Revised: 1 June 2018 / Accepted: 11 June 2018 / Published: 19 June 2018
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Abstract
Porous vaterite crystals of CaCO3 are extensively used for the fabrication of self-assembled polymer-based microparticles (capsules, beads, etc.) utilized for drug delivery and controlled release. The nature of the polymer used plays a crucial role and discovery of new perspective biopolymers is
[...] Read more.
Porous vaterite crystals of CaCO3 are extensively used for the fabrication of self-assembled polymer-based microparticles (capsules, beads, etc.) utilized for drug delivery and controlled release. The nature of the polymer used plays a crucial role and discovery of new perspective biopolymers is essential to assemble microparticles with desired characteristics, such as biocompatibility, drug loading efficiency/capacity, release rate, and stability. Glycoprotein mucin is tested here as a good candidate to assemble the microparticles because of high charge due to sialic acids, mucoadhesive properties, and a tendency to self-assemble, forming gels. Mucin loading into the crystals via co-synthesis is twice as effective as via adsorption into preformed crystals. Desialylated mucin has weaker binding to the crystals most probably due to electrostatic interactions between sialic acids and calcium ions on the crystal surface. Improved loading of low-molecular-weight inhibitor aprotinin into the mucin-containing crystals is demonstrated. Multilayer capsules (mucin/protamine)3 have been made by the layer-by-layer self-assembly. Interestingly, the deposition of single mucin layers (mucin/water)3 has also been proven, however, the capsules were unstable, most probably due to additional (to hydrogen bonding) electrostatic interactions in the case of the two polymers used. Finally, approaches to load biologically-active compounds (BACs) into the mucin-containing microparticles are discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Self-Assembly of Polymers)
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Open AccessArticle Rapid Detection and Trapping of Extracellular Vesicles by Electrokinetic Concentration for Liquid Biopsy on Chip
Micromachines 2018, 9(6), 306; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi9060306
Received: 30 April 2018 / Revised: 11 June 2018 / Accepted: 15 June 2018 / Published: 19 June 2018
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Abstract
Exosomes have gained immense importance since their proteomic and genetic contents could potentially be used for disease diagnostics, monitoring of cancer progression, metastasis, and drug efficacy. However, establishing the clinical utility of exosomes has been restricted due to small sizes and high sample
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Exosomes have gained immense importance since their proteomic and genetic contents could potentially be used for disease diagnostics, monitoring of cancer progression, metastasis, and drug efficacy. However, establishing the clinical utility of exosomes has been restricted due to small sizes and high sample loss from extensive sample preparation. Sample loss is particularly critical for body fluids limited in volume and difficult to access, e.g., cerebrospinal fluid. We present a microfluidic technique that locally enhances the concentration of extracellular vesicles extracted from MDA-MB-231 human breast cancer cell lines by using an ion concentration polarization (ICP)-based electrokinetic concentrator. Our design incorporates a trapping mechanism near the conductive polymer membrane; therefore, we can preconcentrate and capture extracellular vesicles simultaneously. Compared with standard fluorescence detection, our method increased the limit of detection (LOD) of extracellular vesicles by two orders of magnitude in 30 min. Our concentrator increased the extracellular vesicle concentration for 5.0 × 107 particles/1 mL (LOD), 5.0 × 108 particles/1 mL, and 5.0 × 109 particles/1 mL by ~100-fold each within 30 min using 45 V. This study demonstrates an alternative platform to simultaneously preconcentrate and capture extracellular vesicles that can be incorporated as part of a liquid biopsy-on-a-chip system for the detection of exosomal biomarkers and analysis of their contents for early cancer diagnosis. Full article
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Open AccessArticle A Generic Control Architecture for Hybrid Micro-Machines
Micromachines 2018, 9(6), 305; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi9060305
Received: 25 May 2018 / Revised: 13 June 2018 / Accepted: 16 June 2018 / Published: 19 June 2018
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Abstract
Hybrid micro-machining, which integrates several micro-manufacturing processes on one platform, has emerged as a solution to utilize the so-called “1 + 1 = 3” effect to tackle the manufacturing challenges for high value-added 3D micro-products. Hybrid micro-machines tend to integrate multiple functional modules
[...] Read more.
Hybrid micro-machining, which integrates several micro-manufacturing processes on one platform, has emerged as a solution to utilize the so-called “1 + 1 = 3” effect to tackle the manufacturing challenges for high value-added 3D micro-products. Hybrid micro-machines tend to integrate multiple functional modules from different vendors for the best value and performance. However, the lack of plug-and-play solutions leads to tremendous difficulty in system integration. This paper proposes a novel three-layer control architecture for the first time for the system integration of hybrid micro-machines. The interaction of hardware is encapsulated into software components, while the data flow among different components is standardized. The proposed control architecture enhances the flexibility of the computer numerical control (CNC) system to accommodate a broad range of functional modules. The component design also improves the scalability and maintainability of the whole system. The effectiveness of the proposed control architecture has been successfully verified through the integration of a six-axis hybrid micro-machine. Thus, it provides invaluable guidelines for the development of next-generation CNC systems for hybrid micro-machines. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Micro-Machining: Challenges and Opportunities)
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Open AccessArticle Manipulation of the Superhydrophobicity of Plasma-Etched Polymer Nanostructures
Micromachines 2018, 9(6), 304; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi9060304
Received: 15 May 2018 / Revised: 11 June 2018 / Accepted: 15 June 2018 / Published: 18 June 2018
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Abstract
The manipulation of droplet mobility on a nanotextured surface by oxygen plasma is demonstrated by modulating the modes of hydrophobic coatings and controlling the hierarchy of nanostructures. The spin-coating of polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) allows for heterogeneous hydrophobization of the high-aspect-ratio nanostructures and provides the
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The manipulation of droplet mobility on a nanotextured surface by oxygen plasma is demonstrated by modulating the modes of hydrophobic coatings and controlling the hierarchy of nanostructures. The spin-coating of polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) allows for heterogeneous hydrophobization of the high-aspect-ratio nanostructures and provides the nanostructured surface with “sticky hydrophobicity”, whereas the self-assembled monolayer coating of perfluorodecyltrichlorosilane (FDTS) results in homogeneous hydrophobization and “slippery superhydrophobicity”. While the high droplet adhesion (stickiness) on a nanostructured surface with the spin-coating of PTFE is maintained, the droplet contact angle is enhanced by creating hierarchical nanostructures via the combination of oxygen plasma etching with laser interference lithography to achieve “sticky superhydrophobicity”. Similarly, the droplet mobility on a slippery nanostructured surface with the self-assembled monolayer coating of FDTS is also enhanced by employing the hierarchical nanostructures to achieve “slippery superhydrophobicity” with modulated slipperiness. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plasma-Based Surface Engineering)
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Open AccessArticle Formation of Branched and Chained Alginate Microfibers Using Theta-Glass Capillaries
Micromachines 2018, 9(6), 303; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi9060303
Received: 10 May 2018 / Revised: 8 June 2018 / Accepted: 14 June 2018 / Published: 17 June 2018
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Abstract
This study proposes a microfluidic spinning method to form alginate microfibers with branched and chained structures by controlling two streams of a sodium alginate solution extruded from a theta-glass capillary (a double-compartmented glass capillary). The two streams have three flow regimes: (i) a
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This study proposes a microfluidic spinning method to form alginate microfibers with branched and chained structures by controlling two streams of a sodium alginate solution extruded from a theta-glass capillary (a double-compartmented glass capillary). The two streams have three flow regimes: (i) a combined flow regime (single-threaded stream), (ii) a separated flow regime (double-threaded stream), and (iii) a chained flow regime (stream of repeating single- and double-threaded streams). The flow rate of the sodium alginate solution and the tip diameter of the theta-glass capillary are the two parameters which decide the flow regime. By controlling the two parameters, we form branched (a Y-shaped structure composed of thick parent fiber and permanently divided two thin fibers) and chained (a repeating structure of single- and double-threaded fibers with constant frequency) alginate microfibers with various dimensions. Furthermore, we demonstrate the applicability of the alginate microfibers as sacrificial templates for the formation of chain-shaped microchannels with two inlets. Such microchannels could mimic the structure of blood vessels and are applicable for the research fields of fluidics including hemodynamics. Full article
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Open AccessEditorial Editorial for the Special Issue on Advances in Optofluidics
Micromachines 2018, 9(6), 302; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi9060302
Received: 14 June 2018 / Accepted: 14 June 2018 / Published: 15 June 2018
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(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Optofluidics)
Open AccessArticle Miniaturization and High-Density Arrangement of Microcantilevers in Proximity and Tactile Sensor for Dexterous Gripping Control
Micromachines 2018, 9(6), 301; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi9060301
Received: 28 April 2018 / Revised: 31 May 2018 / Accepted: 12 June 2018 / Published: 15 June 2018
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Abstract
In this paper, in order to perform delicate and advanced grip control like human, a proximity and tactile combination sensor using miniaturized microcantilevers one-fifth the size of previous one as the detection part was newly developed. Microcantilevers were arranged with higher spatial density
[...] Read more.
In this paper, in order to perform delicate and advanced grip control like human, a proximity and tactile combination sensor using miniaturized microcantilevers one-fifth the size of previous one as the detection part was newly developed. Microcantilevers were arranged with higher spatial density than in previous works and an interdigitated array electrode to enhance light sensitivity was added. It is found that the interdigitated array electrode can detect light with 1.6 times higher sensitivity than that in previous works and the newly fabricated microcantilevers have enough sensitivity to applied normal and shear loads. Therefore, more accurate detection of proximity distance and spatial distribution of contact force become available for dexterous gripping control to prevent ‘overshooting’, ‘force control error’, and ‘slipping’. Full article
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Open AccessReview Liquid Biopsy in Colorectal Cancer-Current Status and Potential Clinical Applications
Micromachines 2018, 9(6), 300; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi9060300
Received: 27 April 2018 / Revised: 7 June 2018 / Accepted: 12 June 2018 / Published: 15 June 2018
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Abstract
Colorectal cancer is one of the most frequent solid malignancies worldwide. The treatment is either surgical or multimodal and depends on the stage of the disease at diagnosis. Accurate disease assessment is thus of great importance for choosing the most optimal treatment strategy.
[...] Read more.
Colorectal cancer is one of the most frequent solid malignancies worldwide. The treatment is either surgical or multimodal and depends on the stage of the disease at diagnosis. Accurate disease assessment is thus of great importance for choosing the most optimal treatment strategy. However, the standard means of disease assessment by radiological imaging or histopathological analysis of the removed tumor tissue lack the sensitivity in detecting the early systemic spread of the disease. To overcome this deficiency, the concept of liquid biopsy from the peripheral blood of patients has emerged as a new, very promising diagnostic tool. In this article, we provide an overview of the current status of clinical research on liquid biopsy in colorectal cancer. We also highlight the clinical situations in which the concept might be of the greatest benefit for the management of colorectal cancer patients in the future. Full article
Open AccessArticle Improving the Electrical Contact Performance for Amorphous Wire Magnetic Sensor by Employing MEMS Process
Micromachines 2018, 9(6), 299; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi9060299
Received: 9 May 2018 / Revised: 11 June 2018 / Accepted: 11 June 2018 / Published: 14 June 2018
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Abstract
This paper presents a novel fabrication method for amorphous alloy wire giant magneto-impedance (GMI) magnetic sensor based on micro electro mechanical systems (MEMS) technology. In this process, negative SU-8 thick photoresist was proposed as the solder mask due to its excellent properties, such
[...] Read more.
This paper presents a novel fabrication method for amorphous alloy wire giant magneto-impedance (GMI) magnetic sensor based on micro electro mechanical systems (MEMS) technology. In this process, negative SU-8 thick photoresist was proposed as the solder mask due to its excellent properties, such as good stability, mechanical properties, etc. The low melting temperature solder paste was used for the electrical connections with the amorphous alloy wire and the electrode pads. Compared with the conventional welding fabrication methods, the proposed micro electro mechanical systems (MEMS) process in this paper showed the advantages of good impedance consistency, and can be fabricated at a low temperature of 150 °C. The amorphous alloy wire magnetic sensor made by the conventional method and by the micro electro mechanical systems (MEMS) process were tested and compared, respectively. The minimum resistance value of the magnetic sensor made by the conventional welding method is 19.8 Ω and the maximum is 28.1 Ω. The variance of the resistance is 7.559 Ω2. The minimum resistance value of the magnetic sensor made by micro electro mechanical systems (MEMS) process is 20.1 Ω and the maximum is 20.5 Ω. The variance of the resistance is 0.029 Ω2. The test results show that the impedance consistency by micro electro mechanical systems (MEMS) process is better than that of the conventional method. The sensor sensitivity is around 150 mV/Oe and the nonlinearity is less than 0.92% F.S. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Micro-/Nano-system and Technology)
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Open AccessArticle Multiscale Analysis of Size Effect of Surface Pit Defect in Nanoindentation
Micromachines 2018, 9(6), 298; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi9060298
Received: 24 May 2018 / Revised: 4 June 2018 / Accepted: 10 June 2018 / Published: 13 June 2018
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Abstract
The nanoindentation on a pit surface has been simulated using the quasicontinuum method in order to investigate the size effect of surface pit defect on the yield load of thin film. Various widths and heights of surface pit defect have been taken into
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The nanoindentation on a pit surface has been simulated using the quasicontinuum method in order to investigate the size effect of surface pit defect on the yield load of thin film. Various widths and heights of surface pit defect have been taken into account. The size coefficient has been defined as an index to express the influence of the width or height of surface pit defect. The results show that as the size coefficient of width (of height) increases, at first the yield load of thin film decreases extremely slowly, until the size coefficient of width equals approximately one unit (half unit), at which point the yield load experiences an obvious drop. When the size coefficient of width (of height) reaches approximately two units (one unit), the yield load is almost the same as that of the nanoindentation on a stepped surface. In addition, the height of surface pit defect has more influence than the width on the yield load of thin film. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Small Scale Deformation using Advanced Nanoindentation Techniques)
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