In order to determine the influence of the silicon chip substrate on measurement fidelity in a silicon MEMS micro-extensometer, finite element modeling of strain transfer efficiency from a steel beam through a bond layer and silicon chip is investigated over a range of chip and steel beam geometries under both axial and pure bending load conditions. The finite element model results are verified against experimental data. An analytical model that incorporates both influence of the bonded substrate on the effective load and shear-lag phenomenon in the bond is developed and is shown to compare favorably to the finite element model over a wide range of chip and beam geometries. Based on these results, a partially-trenched silicon chip is also investigated as an alternate means of locally enhancing the strain transfer to the micro-extensometer without compromising the ability of the substrate to act as part of the encapsulation of moving elements of the micro-extensometer from the environment. The partially-trenched substrate in bending is experimentally shown to generate strains that are 118% of the strain applied to the substrate—a 23% percent improvement over the equivalent unpatterned substrate geometry.

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