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Nano- and Micro-Mechanical Behavior Laboratory

Thin Film Deposition
Sputter deposition (AJA International)
3 targets, co-sputtering arrangement, RF and DC magnetron
ideal for alloy deposition and multilayer stacks
typical targets: Cu, Al, Ti, Au, Pt, Ni, W, V, Ni-V, Pt-Ru
base pressure typically 3 x 10-7 torr
substrate bias, reactive sputtering and substrate heating capability
in-situ substrate curvature (film stress) measurement is possible
3" wafers and odd sized substrates possible
Resistance heated, 3 boats
typical materials: Cu, Al, Ni, Au
base pressure typically 8 x 10-7 torr
odd sized substates possible

Small-scale Mechanical Testing
Nanoindentation (Hysitron Triboscope on DI small sample AFM)
Surface imaging with indentation tool
Vertical loading: 1nN - 10 mN, Lateral loading: 3 µN - 10 mN
Scratch testing, micro/nano-wear testing
Heating to 150 °C
Typical specimens: thin films, coatings, treated surfaces, small structures
Micro-tensile load frames (2)
Load resolution: <1 mN
Displacement: 5 nm - 50 µm
Heating to 400°C (in development)
Ideal for tension and fatigue testing
Typical specimens: thin films, fine wires
Mini-tensile load frame
Environmental Scanning Electron Microscope in-situ testing compatibility
Load cells: 250 g,-f, 100 lbs., 1000 lbs. tension/compression
Displacement: µm - mm range
Tension, compression, 3 or 4 point bending
Typical specimens: wires, foils, small structures (metal, ceramic, polymer)
Nano/Micro-contact tribology apparatus
10 g-f load cell
simultaneous load and contact resistance measurements
Thin film stress tool, substrate curvature
N2 up to 500 °C
Vacuum up to 800 °C
Typical specimens: thin films on Si wafer substrates
Thin film adhesion test fixtures, 4-point bend
Thin film stress measurement, in-situ wafer curvature (k-Space)
Thin Film Creep measurement by membrane resonance
Vacuum up to 500 °C
Typical specimens: electrically conductive thin films on Si wafer substrates
Capable of stress measurement in films of nano-scale thickness
Thin Film Bulge test (vacuum, elevated temperature, under development)
Typical specimens: electrically conductive thin films on Si wafer substrates
Same sample geometry as membrane resonance; complementery technique
Capable of stress measurement in films of nano-scale thickness

Surface Roughness Measurement
Atomic Force Microscope (Digital Instruments 3000, also small sample heads)
Vertical range: 5 nm - 5 µm
Horizontal range: 1 µm - 100 µm square
Chemical cells
Contact, Tapping Mode, SPM

Sample Preparation

Bulk micromachining by TMAH or KOH
RIE of metals and nitrides

Medium/Large scale Mechanical Testing

Charpy and Izod testers
Instron 5567 load frame
Load cells: 100 lbs., 6000 lbs. tension/compression
Displacement: µm -m range
Strain gage channel
Merlin software suite


Related facilities at Lehigh University include:
The Electron Microscopy Center (
The Sherman Fairchild Center for Solid State Studies
Microelectronics Laboratory (
Flat Panel Display Laboratory (


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