Fatigue behavior of nanomaterials could ultimately limit their applications in variable nano-devices and flexible nanoelectronics. However, very few existing nanoscale mechanical testing instruments were designed for dedicated fatigue experiments, especially for the challenging torsional cyclic loading. In this work, a novel high-cycle torsion straining micromachine, based on the digital micromirror device (DMD), has been developed for the torsional fatigue study on various one-dimensional (1D) nanostructures, such as metallic and semiconductor nanowires. Due to the small footprint of the DMD chip itself and its cable-remote controlling mechanisms, it can be further used for the desired in situ
testing under high-resolution optical or electron microscopes (e.g., scanning electron microscope (SEM)), which allows real-time monitoring of the fatigue testing status and construction of useful structure-property relationships for the nanomaterials. We have then demonstrated its applications for testing nanowire samples with diameters about 100 nm and 500 nm, up to 1000 nm, and some of them experienced over hundreds of thousands of loading cycles before fatigue failure. Due to the commercial availability of the DMD and millions of micromirrors available on a single chip, this platform could offer a low-cost and high-throughput nanomechanical solution for the uncovered torsional fatigue behavior of various 1D nanostructures.
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