Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department

Mechanical Engineering

Major Professor

Alex A. Volinsky

Co-Major Professor

Alex. A. Volinsky, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Nathan Gallant, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Delcie Durham, Ph.D.


soft material, elastic modulus, adhesion force, flat punch, DMA


In this thesis, the relationship between the elastic modulus of PDMS and the base/agent ratio (the amount of crosslinking) is studied. Reliable macroscopic compression test instrument was developed. Preload method was applied for the nanoindentation flat punch test to develop full contact.

In chapter 2, an easy instrument setup for macroscopic compression test is described. A series of PDMS samples with different base/agent ratios were tested using the macroscopic compression method. The relationship between PDMS elastic modulus and its base/agent ratio was established.

In chapter 3, PDMS nanoindentation DMA tests provide stable data with different test control models. The storage modulus collected using nanoindenting DMA tests is comparable with elastic modulus collected in PDMS compression test in chapter 2. Nanoindentation experiments with flat punch were also done to test the elastic modulus of PDMS network 5:1. The adhesion force tests with different nanoindentation tips, which are Berkovich tip, conical tip and cube corner tip, show that PDMS's adhesion force is related to the sample's base/agent ratio, the nanoindentating depth and the tip's geometrical shape.