A testing instrument for mechanical testing at nano or micron scale includes a transducer body, and a coupling shaft coupled with a probe tip. A transducer body houses a capacitor. The capacitor includes first and second counter electrodes and a center electrode assembly interposed therebetween. The center electrode assembly is movable with the coupling shaft relative to the first and second counter electrodes, for instance in one or more of dimensions including laterally and normally. The center electrode assembly includes a center plate coupled with the coupling shaft and one or more springs extending from the center plate. Upper and lower plates are coupled with the center plate and cover the center plate and the one or more springs. A shaft support assembly includes one or more support elements coupled along the coupling shaft. The shaft support assembly provides lateral support to the coupling shaft.
STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT
This invention was made with government support under award number DE-FG02-07ER84812 awarded by the United States Department of Energy. The government has certain rights in this invention.