CITHaDel project

France Switzerland INTERREG Programme 2014-2020


Hybrid Technology Integrated Microforce Measurement Cell


The CITHaDel project project focuses on the development of a hybrid technology for manufacturing force measurement cells based on piezoresistive stress micro-gauges positioned on a trial body whose size can vary from the centimetre scale to the micrometre scale. The force measurement will be done on the scale of the Newton with a resolution of the order of the micronewton or tenth of a micronewton. The measurement axes will be able to vary between one and three orthogonal directions.

These force cells will then be integrated in two devices dedicated to the mechanical characterisation of surfaces on the micrometre scale: a nano-indenter and a nano-tribometer. These characterisation devices must be able to operate just as well in an air or gassy environment as in the vacuum of a chamber of the scanning electron microscope (SEM).

The project’s main actions are threefold

  • Development of a 1-axis microforce measurement cell, combining a great measuring range (the Newton) and a high resolution (equal to or smaller than the micronewton), which will be obtained by hybridisation of silicon-based technology (micro-gauge) with micromechanics (trial body) using a robotic micro-assembly process.

  • Integration of the previously developed cell in an operational mechanical characterisation instrument of the nano-indenter type capable of functioning in a vacuum if the characterisation of the material so requires.

  • Development of a proof of concept for a 3-axis microforce measurement cell with a micrometer-sized micro-assembled trial body dedicated to the characterisation of high-resolution multi-asperity nanofriction in nano-tribology.

The innovative aspect of this project lies in the synergy of skills in the areas of micro-manufacturing, microtechnology and microrobotics to arrive at the development of a hybrid technology for manufacturing micro-mechatronic products integrating microforce measurement cells.



October 2015-February 2019


PERCIPIO-ROBOTICS, Alemnis Gmbh, University  of Franche-Comté (UFC), Federal Materials Test and Research Laboratory (EMPA).

Contact details

Delivery and invoicing address

26 rue de l’épitaphe
25000 Besançon


Emmanuel PIAT
Tél : 03 81 40 27 92
emmanuel.piat [at]