Quantitative In-Situ TEM Tensile Testing Apparatus
In situ tensile testing in the transmission electron microscope (TEM) has been a powerful tool for revealing underlying physical mechanisms at the nano or even atomic scale when materials are subjected to an applied stress. However, all commercially available in situ TEM tensile holders suffer from the absence of quantitative ability and require complex sample preparation. This project will develop a tensile device for operation inside a TEM, not only yielding quantitative load-displacement data concomitant with real-time images of the microstructural behavior, but also simplifying the sample preparation procedure. In Phase I, a working quantitative tensile system was designed and built by integrating a newly-developed microelectromechanical systems-based push-to-pull device into an existing in situ TEM holder system. The feasibility of the concept was demonstrated by testing the system in the TEM. Phase II will (1) develop ready-tocommercialize, quantitative, in situ TEM tensile testing systems that will be compatible with the TEMs of all major manufacturers; (2) develop devices based on micro- or nano- electromechanical systems, in order to enable the quantitative investigation of the coupling effects between electro/mechanical and thermal/mechanical behavior of nanomaterials; and (3) conduct relevant experiments using the quantitative tensile system. Commercial Applications and Other Benefits as described by the awardee: The quantitative in situ TEM tensile technique should substantially improve our understanding of the relationship between and external applied stress and the materials¿ response at nano and even atomic scale, and thereby provide solid experimental parameters for optimizing the properties of components and products that result from nanoscience.
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