27012021 1611751855

The strange and unpredictable behavior of meso-scale adhesion and friction forces is a practical problem for the development of microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) with contacting surfaces. To overcome the associated limitations when designingMEMS devices, the first obstacle to remove is the fact that it is hard to measure displacements and forces in MEMS with sufficient resolution to discern atomic scale details from these meso-scale measurements. In this PhD thesis we show how an non-invasive, optical method can be used to measure forces and displacements inMEMS with sub-nanometer resolution. It is fundamentally impossible to opticallymeasure topological details below 500 nmin size, due to the wavelike nature of light. However, the location of a moving feature can be tracked with a much higher resolution, by curve-fitting a mathematical function to its shape.

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