Cold and Colder, Nanoindentation Down to -120°C

Learn how PI Cryo is used for extreme-cold operando testing in the SEM

See PI Cryo in action down to -120°C

In this webinar, Bruker experts demonstrate operando nanomechanical testing down to -120°C using PI Cryo. The speaker, Dr. Douglas Stauffer, first clarifies the motivation for testing from cold to cryo conditions and briefly explains how nanoindentation works. Then, he gives an overview of the PI Cryo instrumentation for in-situ SEM experiments and illustrates its performance with cryogenic testing of an aluminum reference sample. Finally, Dr. Stauffer presents three case studies and answers audience questions.

Presenter's Abstract

During this webinar, Bruker nanomechanical testing expert Douglas Stauffer, Ph.D. discusses in-situ, operando testing from room temperature down to -120°C using PI Cryo for the Hysitron PI 89 SEM PicoIndenter.

Dr. Stauffer first explained the motivation for low-temperature testing and how nanoindentation works. He then detailed Bruker’s cryogenic testing instrumentation, particularly the methods used to minimize thermal drift and noise. To demonstrate performance, Dr. Stauffer showed results from an aluminum reference sample.

He then presented three case studies:

  1. A 1018 steel, with observation of a transition to more brittle behavior at low temperatures
  2. PDMS, showing changes in storage modulus with temperature
  3. A polymer film, with a clear glass transition temperature that could be measured using the PI Cryo

To close the webinar, Dr. Stauffer answered questions from the audience.

Find out more about the technology featured in this webinar or our other solutions for NanoIdentation down to -120°C:


Douglas Stauffer, Ph.D.

Senior Manager of NI Applications Development

Douglas Stauffer, Ph.D. is the Senior Manager for Applications Development for the Hysitron product lines at Bruker Nano, Inc. In short, he manages the internal testing laboratory, engages in collaborations, and assists with sales-related activities with respect to nanomechanical testing techniques. He works with a wide variety of professionals in his role, ranging from professors studying incipient events at very small length scales to industrial manufacturing of 300mm wafers for logic and memory

His current research focus is on developing new techniques for understanding structure and processing relationships with regard to nanomechanical performance. These relationships and techniques can then be applied to a wide range of applications that include both applied and fundamental studies for assessing component and microstructure capabilities to resist failure. These techniques include in and ex-situ testing and the development of in operando type experiments, to gain insight into the role that plasticity and fracture play in the varying failure regimes under operating conditions.

Douglas received his Ph.D. in Materials Science from the University of Minnesota in 2011. He then joined the R&D department as a Senior Staff Scientist working in instrumentation and applications at Hysitron. Hysitron was acquired by Bruker Nano in January 2017.