Modeling and calibration of a MEMS tensile stage for elevated temperature experiments on freestanding metallic thin films
Mechanical behavior of metallic thin films at room temperature (RT) is relatively well characterized. However, measuring the high temperature mechanical properties of thin films poses several challenges. These include ensuring uniformity in sample temperature and minimizing temporal fluctuations due to ambient heat loss, in addition to difficulties involved in mechanical testing of microscale samples. To address these issues, we designed and analyzed a MEMS-based high temperature tensile testing stage made from single crystal silicon. The freestanding thin film specimens were co-fabricated with the stage to ensure uniaxial loading. Multi-physics simulations of Joule heating, incorporating both radiation and convection heat transfer, were carried out using COMSOL to map the temperature distribution across the stage and the specimen. The simulations were validated using temperature measurements from a thermoreflectance microscope.