Over the past few decades scanning electron microscopes (SEMs) have become commonplace instruments in both academic and industrial settings. With their superior spatial resolution, SEMs have replaced visible-light microscopes in many applications, particularly as the surge in interest in nanotechnology dictates smaller and smaller structures. The limits of these microscopes are now being pushed even further with the development of new in-situ testing methods. Combining SEM imaging with complementary characterization techniques can help to paint a more complete picture of materials behavior. Here we report on progress in the development of a compact, vacuum-compatible instrument capable of quantitative nanomechanical testing in the SEM1.

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DOI: 10.1016/S1369-7021(10)70144-9