Structural superlubricity (SSL) is a state of nearly zero friction and zero wear between two directly contacted solid surfaces. Recently, SSL was achieved in mesoscale and thus opened the SSL technology which promises great applications in Micro-electromechanical Systems (MEMS), sensors, storage technologies, etc. However, load issues in current mesoscale SSL studies are still not clear. The great challenge is to simultaneously measure both the ultralow shear forces and the much larger normal forces, although the widely used frictional force microscopes (FFM) and micro tribometers can satisfy the shear forces and normal forces requirements, respectively. Here we propose a hybrid two-axis force sensor that can well fill the blank between the capabilities of FFM and micro tribometers for the mesoscopic SSL studies. The proposed sensor can afford 1mN normal load with 10 nN lateral resolution. Moreover, the probe of the sensor is designed at the edge of the structure for the convenience of real-time optical observation. Calibrations and preliminary experiments are conducted to validate the performance of the design.
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