APL 2008 Abstract

Separation modes in microcontacts identified by the rate-dependence of the pull-off force

L. Chen, N.E. McGruer, G.G. Adams, and Y. Du


We report the observation of two distinct modes of rate-dependent behavior during contact cycling tests. One is a higher pull-off force at low cycling rates, and the other is a higher pull-off force at high cycling rates. Subsequent investigation of these contacts using scanning electron microscopy (SEM) demonstrates that these two rate-dependent modes can be related to brittle and ductile separation modes. The former behavior is indicative of brittle separation, whereas the latter accompanies ductile separation. Thus by monitoring the rate-dependence of the pull-off force, the type of separation mode can be identified during cycling without interrupting the test to perform SEM.

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