Nanoindentation

 

Indentation tests, sometimes called hardness tests, are perhaps the most commonly applied means of testing the mechanical properties of materials. The technique has its origins in the Mohs scale of mineral hardness, in which materials are ranked according to what they can scratch and are, in turn, scratched by. The characterization of solids in this way takes place on an essentially discrete scale, so much effort has been expended in order to develop techniques for evaluating material hardness over a continuous range. Hence, the adoption of the Meyer, Knoop, Brinell, Rockwell, and Vickers hardness tests. More recently (ca. 1975), the nanoindentation technique has been established as the primary tool for investigating the hardness of small volumes of material.

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Measurement procedure in which the force required to press a sharp diamond indenter into a material is measured as a function of indentation depth, resolved on the scale of nanometres. Young's modulus, hardness and yield strength can be determined. Creep, plastic flow and fracture of materials can also be investigated.

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Method where indentor is pressed into surface to a maximum depth of 100 nm with continuous monitoring of the indentation force and resultant indentor penetration enabling the determination of local mechanical properties

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Manipulation at the cellular and subcellular level using nanoscale properties of materials or systems

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Nanoindentation is similar to conventional hardness testing performed on a much smaller scale. The force required to press a sharp diamond indenter into a material is measured as a function of indentation depth. As depth resolution is on the scale of nanometers (hence the name of the instrument), it is possible to conduct indentation experiments even on thin films. Two quantities which can be readily extracted from nanoindentation experiments are the material's modulus, or stiffness, and its hardness, which can be correlated to yield strength. Investegators have also used nanoindentation to study creep, plastic flow, and fracture of materials. [Nix Research Group, Materials Science & Engineering, Stanford University]

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Measuring the local mechanical properties of a surface. A small probe, typically a small diamond pyramid, is pressed on a surface with a known load and the indentation depth is recorded. From the force or load and the depth of indentation the local hardness is determined. The indentation can be done either with an AFM or a special designed Nanoindenter.

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Nanoindentation is similar to conventional hardness testing performed on a much smaller scale. The force required to press a sharp diamond indenter into a material is measured as a function of indentation depth. As depth resolution is on the scale of nanometers (hence the name of the instrument), it is possible to conduct indentation experiments even on thin films. Two quantities which can be readily extracted from nanoindentation experiments are the material's modulus, or stiffness, and its hardness, which can be correlated to yield strength. Investegators have also used nanoindentation to study creep, plastic flow, and fracture of materials. [Nix Research Group, Materials Science & Engineering, Stanford University]

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