Linkam Modular Force Stage (MFS)


Understanding the micro- and thermo- mechanical properties of materials is increasingly important. Existing materials are being deployed in new environments and exotic new materials are being developed to meet ever higher demands.

Advanced materials such as carbon fiber and graphene are becoming established materials for high-end applications such as bike frames, cars, surgical implants and aircraft wings. New materials are being developed to replace or support human body parts such as artificial hips and artificial corneas. It is vital that the physical properties of these materials are characterized and any failure modes well understood.

The Modular Force Stage is a modular system designed to characterize the mechanical properties of your samples. The system is a new and improved version of the tensile stage with increased sensitivity and resolution. The modular design allows users to have an additional level of control over their experiments with the ability to change grips, heater type and force beam. The additional options will accommodate a wide range of different samples and applications.

The Modular Force Stage can be used with reflected or transmitted illumination as well as other techniques such as X-ray, Raman and FTIR. Its sample chamber is sealed and can be gas purged via the built in valves. There are also options for humidity control and electrical contact posts.


In this Case Study, learn how Dr. Hannah Leese, an independent researcher at the University of Bath, is breaking new ground in POC diagnostics for nanomedicine, and improving understanding of the mechanical properties of novel materials.

How are other researchers using the Modular Force Stage? Find out.

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  • Compression and tensile force: test the compressive and tensile properties of your sample relative to temperature and capture high resolution images of the structural changes.
  • Multi-point bending measurements.
  • Wide range of control parameters: speed of jaws, distance moved and the force applied can be varied relative to temperature.
  • Interchangeable heaters and grips: the temperature can be controlled from –196°C up to 600°C depending on heater attached. Heaters and grips can be changed to accommodate a wide range of sample types.
  • Electrical connections: optional electrical connections enable electrical measurement on the sample during tensile testing.
  • Humidity: add the RH95 humidity unit to your system to accurately control the relative humidity around your samples.
  • Encoded distance measurement: built in high resolution encoder ensures precise measurement of changes in length.



Dr. Hannah Leese, Ph.D., Department of Chemical Engineering at the University of Bath. During her Ph.D., Dr. Leese focused on creating nanostructured and carbon nanotube (CNT) membranes to study fluid flow and mass transport at the nanoscale.

“Although Dr Leese primarily uses the MFS for optical microscopy, the device may be used with reflected or transmitted illumination, as well as other techniques such as X-ray, Raman, and Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR) spectroscopy. Dr Leese comments on why she chose the MFS:

‘When I joined the University of Bath as an independent researcher, I succeeded in obtaining funding for some equipment. There was a tensiometer available for tensile measurements at the university, but they are not mountable on a microscope and are not as sensitive as the Linkam stage I was accustomed to using. With a tensile force range of up to 20 N, the MFS is more appropriate for my experiments than a device of up to 20 kN.’

Other researchers and PhD students in and outside the group are also benefitting from the MFS, in their studies on membranes, hollow fibres and larger fibres. The Linkam device is also ideally suited to test electrospun mats – another material that the group is developing. Another benefit of the MFS is its user-friendly design. As a robust and reliable system, the MFS is ideal for use by a range of students, as Dr Leese explains:

‘The first project to be conducted on the MFS was actually by undergraduate students. They were my first students, and they understood and optimised the stage for themselves, and felt confident with it despite never having conducted a research project before.'”

Read the entire Linkam-MFS-Case-Study.

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