A micromachined or microelectromechanical system (MEMS) based push-to-pull mechanical transformer for tensile testing of micro-to-nanometer scale material samples including a first structure and a second structure. The second structure is coupled to the first structure by at least one flexible element that enables the second structure to be moveable relative to the first structure, wherein the second structure is disposed relative to the first structure so as to form a pulling gap between the first and second structures such that when an external pushing force is applied to and pushes the second structure in a tensile extension direction a width of the pulling gap increases so as to apply a tensile force to a test sample mounted across the pulling gap between a first sample mounting area on the first structure and a second sample mounting area on the second structure.
STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT
This invention was made with U.S. Government support under Contract No. DE-FG02-07ER84813, awarded by the Department of Energy. The U.S. Government has certain rights in this invention.