This study has successfully demonstrated a novel tensile testing approach to mount a thin film test specimen onto a MEMS instrument using microfabrication processes. The MEMS instrument consists of a thermal actuator, differential capacitance sensor, and supporting spring. The thermal actuator applies a tensile load on the test specimen to characterize the Young’s modulus and the residual stress of the thin film. As compare with the existing approaches, the problems and difficulties resulting from the alignment and assembly of a thin film test specimen with the testing instrument can be prevented. Furthermore, the parylene passivation technique with the MEMS fabrication process allows the user to change the test materials easily. In application, the present approach has been employed to determine the Young’s modulus and the residual stress of Au and Al films.

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