In-situ mechanical testing in the FIB/SEM

As an easy and cheap solution for in situ straining and bending experiments in the FIB, we have developed the combination of an AFM cantilever with an OmniProbe micromanipulator. For mechanical testing of nanowires, these are attached to both the OmniProbe tip as well as the AFM cantilever. The displacement of the OmniProbe is used to strain or bend the nanowire while the structural changes are manitored by the SEM, while the applied forces can be determined from the displacement of the (calibrated) AFM cantilever.

FIB in-situ mechanical testing

Fig. 1: In situ mechanical testing using an AFM cantilever and an OmniProbe micromanipulator inside a DualBeam FIB.


Details of this work have been published and are available at

  • T. Scherer, S. Zhong, T. Schimmel, "Tensile Testing of Microstructures", G.I.T. Imaging & Microscopy, 1/2011, 44-47.