The innovation engine for new materials

Jaime Regis

Jaime Regis


Mechanical Engineering


University of Texas at El Paso


Fulin Wang

Faculty Sponsor(s): 

Daniel Gianola

Faculty Sponsor's Department(s): 


Project Title: 

Automation of Nanomechanical Testing and Imaging in Scanning Electron Microscope

Project Description: 

The structure – property relationship is essential for the understanding and development of materials. We parallelized a FemtoTools (FT) nanomechanical testing system and a scanning electron microscope (SEM) to record the mechanical response of material and the microstructural evolution in situ, which previously required multiple people as well as keen timing and coordination. In this work, a program was developed to integrate the two systems to facilitate the experimental effort. The goals of the program are to (1) automatically record images throughout the test and (2) properly correlate the mechanical test data and the images. The program processes the live mechanical test data from the FT system. Aiming at efficient and accurate live data processing, only the most recent data points are read and smoothed. For in situ characterization, the program on one hand specifies the parameters for image recording at defined time intervals, and on the other hand initiates image recording once a critical event occurs, i.e. the change of slope and the drastic change of magnitude in the live displacement or force data. The fully functional program is capable of automatically performing the tasks in parallel and allows for coordination of output information by reporting the start, end, and duration of the scanning sections. Accurate identification of the material response and the corresponding microstructural evolutions is hence realized.