We present the design, fabrication, and experimental validation of a device which exploits the amplification of displacement and attenuation of structural stiffness in the post-buckling deformation of slender columns to obtain pico-Newton force and nanometer displacement resolution, even under an optical microscope. The extremely small size, purely mechanical sensing scheme and vacuum compatibility of the instrument makes it compatible with existing visualization tools of nanotechnology. The instrument has a wide variety of potential applications ranging from electro-mechanical characterization of one dimensional solids to single biological cells.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)