Microtech 2011

Simplifying the Designing of a MEMS-based Nanoscale Material Testing Device

R. Bansal, J.V. Clark
Purdue University, US

Keywords: MEMS, nanoscale material testing device, Sugar, SugarCube, performance optimization


Microelectromechanical-systems (MEMS) are increasingly used for accurate mechanical characterization of nanostructures. However, the performance of such systems highly depends on their structural design. Optimizing the performance of the device using distributed analysis is computationally expensive, overly time-consuming, and difficult to geometrically parameterize. Moreover, analytical models of this device are not readily available. In this paper, we present the details of an online tool that allows users to easily explore the design space of ready-made MEMS, simulate versions of its performance, and export its layout in GDS-II format for direct manufacture. We also integrate the modeling of a carbon nanotube (CNT) with the microscale device. We modeled both MEMS and CNT using Sugar, a nodal analysis package for 3D MEMS simulation; and export the design to SugarCube, a novice-usable online tool for manipulating ready-made MEMS. Our model allows the user to optimize the response of the material testing device by adjusting geometry, material properties, and using variations of CNT properties. Our CNT model provides a structural mechanics based lumped model of Single-walled nanotubes (SWNT) that can be used to simulate a test specimen of desired chirality, diameter and length. Our tools will be made available for use at nanoHub.org.

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