Abstract

Thin film and micro-fabricated devices are increasingly being used in actuators, sensors, and processors deployed in smart materials. The physical survival of these devices is paramount to their usefulness but existing methods for testing and analysis are limited and challenging due to their properties. The most common test involve the manual application and removal of (unspecified) tape but does not provide a result in scientific units and has large variation (> 35%). This paper presents a study into the effects of parameters of tape application and peeling on the adhesion strength of the tape. This information was then used to create a test methodology using commonly available laboratory equipment, which would control these parameters to minimize variation and produce repeatable quantitative results. Experiments using this test methodology were performed with tape directly adhered to several different substrates as well as tape adhered to a thin film which was then peeled off of a backing. Ongoing work is seeking to identify and address different forms of failure including adhesive failure, cohesive failure, or survival.

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