Nanoindentation is a powerful technique for quantitative measurement of fracture toughness at the nanoscale and microscale. Fracture toughness measurements performed by nanoindentation involve applying an increasing force through a sharp diamond nanoindenter probe onto a brittle material’s surface until a fracture event occurs. On hard brittle films, radial cracking, channel cracking, or circumferential cracking patterns occur during the nanoindentation process. Based on the pattern of fracture, quantitative analysis of fracture toughness can be obtained utilizing the nanoindentation data, high-resolution imaging of the crack pattern, and applying the appropriate models.
Bruker’s patented electrostatic transducer technologies provide industry-leading force and displacement sensitivity for quantitative fracture toughness characterization at the nanoscale. Ultra-fast feedback control algorithms and data acquisition rates enable superior control over the nanoindentation process and reliable identification of initial fracture events. Bruker’s extended force transducers provide the ability to fracture high-toughness materials. Combined with high resolution in-situ SPM imaging capabilities, the fracture pattern and size can be easily determined immediately after the test for quantitative fracture toughness measurements at the nanoscale and microscale.