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Microfabricated fiducial markers for digital image correlation-based micromechanical testing of LIGA Ni alloys



Li-Anne Liew, David T. Read, May Martin, Todd R. Christenson, John T. Geaney


Photolithographically defined thin film Au dots were used as micro fiducial markers for digital image correlation (DIC), to enable two-dimensional strain measurement of 200 micron-thick LIGA (Lithographie, Galvanformung, Abformung) nickel alloys. Due to the sensitivity of electrodeposited films' microstructure and properties on the processing conditions, characterization of LIGA mechanical properties continues to be necessary for microsystems commercialization. DIC offers advantages over laser-based strain measurement techniques but creating suitable speckle patterns on specimens with dimensions under a millimeter is challenging. The material surface roughness itself is often used as the speckle pattern, or micro- or nanoparticles are applied to the surface. But for materials with highly polished surfaces, such as commercial LIGA alloys, the surface roughness is not always suitable, while application of particles still poses technical challenges in uniformity and reproducibility. We fabricated freestanding tensile specimens, with gauge sections 700 microns wide x 3 mm long x 200 microns thick, from electrodeposited Ni-10 % Co using a commercial LIGA process, and conducted microtensile tests at strain rate 0.001s-1. Designing and fabricating arrays of randomly oriented 1.5 m-thick Au dots on the specimens provided a suitable way to obtain full-field surface strains over the entire gauge lengths and was reproducible from one specimen to another. Microfabricated fiducial markers therefore can be a useful surface-preparation approach for investigating micromechanical behavior, particularly plasticity and fracture, of LIGA films using DIC.
Engineering Research Express


LIGA, digital image correlation, MEMS, electrodeposited nickel, tensile test, micromechanics


Liew, L. , Read, D. , Martin, M. , Christenson, T. and Geaney, J. (2021), Microfabricated fiducial markers for digital image correlation-based micromechanical testing of LIGA Ni alloys, Engineering Research Express, [online],, (Accessed May 28, 2024)


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Created May 7, 2021, Updated May 12, 2021