Films are rarely homogenous, isotropic materials. They are oftentimes comprised of relatively complex microstructures with localized variability in phase and composition. Some films are functionally graded to meet specific application needs, while other gradients are the result of misunderstood material behavior and processing parameters. Localized properties can play a large role in determining the performance of the overall film. Nanoscale-to-microscale mechanical and tribological characterization is critical for streamlined development, optimization, and implementation of new film technologies.
Bruker has developed a comprehensive set of mechanical and tribological testing techniques to characterize film properties over the nanometer-to-micrometer length scales. Nanoindentation and microindentation-based techniques combined with high accuracy test positioning provides the ability to measure elastic-plastic, viscoelastic and fracture behavior of localized regions of the film system, enabling a constituent approach to understanding overall film performance. Additionally, Bruker’s multi-axis transducer technologies provide the ability to quantitatively measure tribological behavior and interfacial adhesion properties of films.