A Monolithic Micro-Tensile Tester for Investigating Silicon Dioxide Polymorph Micromechanics, Fabricated and Operated Using a Femtosecond Laser
Mechanical testing of materials at the microscales is challenging. It requires delicate procedures not only for producing and handling the specimen to be tested, but also for applying an accurate and controlled force. This endeavor is even more challenging when it comes to investigating the behavior of brittle materials such as glass. Here, we present a microtensile tester for investigating silica glass polymorphs. The instrument is entirely made of silica and for which the same femtosecond laser is not only used for fabricating the device, but also for operating it (loading the specimen) as well as for performing in situ measurements. As a proof-of-concept, we present a stress-strain curve of fused silica for unprecedented high tensile stress of 2.4 GPa, as well as preliminary results of the elastic modulus of femtosecond laser-affected zones of fused silica, providing new insights on their microstructures and mechanical behavior.