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Open AccessArticle

A Hybrid Two-Axis Force Sensor for the Mesoscopic Structural Superlubricity Studies

by 1,2, 1,3, 1,4, 1,3 and Li Lin 1,2,*
1
Center for Nano and Micro Mechanics, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China
2
State Key Laboratory of Tribology, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China
3
Department of Engineering Mechanics, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China
4
National Key Laboratory of Science and Technology on Micro/Nano Fabrication, Institute of Microelectronics, Peking University, Beijing 100871, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sensors 2019, 19(15), 3431; https://doi.org/10.3390/s19153431
Received: 30 June 2019 / Revised: 26 July 2019 / Accepted: 2 August 2019 / Published: 5 August 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sensors in Experimental Mechanics)
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. View Full-Text
Keywords: multi-axis force sensor; hybrid design; high resolution and long range; real-time observation; mesoscopic structural superlubricity multi-axis force sensor; hybrid design; high resolution and long range; real-time observation; mesoscopic structural superlubricity
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MDPI and ACS Style

Sun, T.; Wu, Z.; Li, Z.; Zheng, Q.; Lin, L. A Hybrid Two-Axis Force Sensor for the Mesoscopic Structural Superlubricity Studies. Sensors 2019, 19, 3431.

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