Measurement of Poisson's ratio by means of a direct tension test on micron-sized specimens

Leslie Banks-Sills, Yael Hikri, Slava Krylov, Victor Fourman, Yuval Gerson, Hugh A. Bruck

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A methodology developed for measuring Young's modulus and the full stress-strain curve on micron-sized specimens was extended here to measure Poisson's ratio. A dog-bone type specimen was used within a small loading machine with a maximum load of 5 N. The specimen was fabricated from single crystal silicon (SC-Si) with the specimen gage and loading direction in the 0 0 1 orientation. A silicon on insulator (SOI) wafer was used with a deep reactive ion etching (DRIE) based process. Geometrical parameters of the initial cross-sectional area of the gage were measured by means of image processing on environmental scanning electron microscope (ESEM) images. The test setup also consists of an optical microscope with a monochromatic camera and a data acquisition system. The strains were obtained through the displacement field which was determined by means of digital image correlation (DIC). A speckle pattern was placed on the specimen gage. SC-Si was chosen to study since it is expected that on both the micro and macro-scales, Young's modulus and Poisson's ratio will have the same value. Hence, the accuracy of the method may be examined. The average value of Young's modulus E = 131.4 2.1 GPa was obtained with the micro-specimens and is consistent with values determined on the macro-scale (E = 130 GPa). The average value of Poisson's ratio on the micro-scale was found as ν = 0.23 0.03 which is lower than the macro-scale value of ν = 0.28. The failure stress was determined to be σf = 1.46 0.10 GPa. Results for Young's modulus reflect the reliability of the methodology which is suitable for characterization of a large variety of materials exploited in micro-devices for both sensing and actuation. The reasons for the low values measured for ν were investigated through emulations of determining the strains. An improvement in the image acquisition system is suggested.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)98-114
Number of pages17
JournalSensors and Actuators, A: Physical
Issue number1
StatePublished - 10 Sep 2011


  • Deep reactive ion etching
  • Digital image correlation
  • Dog-bone specimen
  • Mechanical properties
  • Micro-specimen
  • Single crystal silicon


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