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In situ mechanical characterization of square microfabricated elastomeric membranes using an improved microindentation

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3 Author(s)
Kuo-Kang Liu ; Institute of Science and Technology in Medicine, School of Medicine, Keele University, Thornburrow Drive, Hartshill, Stoke-on-Trent ST4 7QB, United Kingdom ; Khoo, Hwa Seng ; Fan-Gang Tseng

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A testing method has been developed for in situ mechanical characterizations of square microfabricated elastomeric membranes, using a tailored microindentation instrument. Such a depth-sensing microindentation system, incorporated with a long-focal microscope for capturing the side view image, provides accurate load–displacement measurements and complete profiles of deformed membranes. The deformations of square silicon rubber membranes with various thicknesses were examined under different degrees of external central microindentation forces. These membranes were integrated and supported by SU-8 photoresist frames, with openings of 2 mm×2 mm. A theoretical model was applied to quantitatively correlate the membrane elasticity to the measured compliance under such indentation. Through comparing the simulated and experimental results, the average values of Young’s modulus for these membranes were reasonably extracted and determined. Viscoelasticity of the membranes used was acknowledged; however, it showed no significant effect on the determination of the Young’s modulus of the membranes in the current work. The good agreement between the experimental results and the theoretical analyses demonstrates the successful in situ mechanical characterizations of microfabricated elastomeric films, particularly for the square shape membrane, which is the most common structure or component for microfabricated devices. © 2004 American Institute of Physics.

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Review of Scientific Instruments  (Volume:75 ,  Issue: 2 )