Quasi-static nanoindentation has become the standard technique used for nanomechanical characterization of materials. A quasi-static nanoindentation test is performed by applying and removing a load to a sample in a highly controlled manner with a geometrically well-defined probe.
During the nanoindentation process, a force is applied by the transducer and the probe displacement is continuously measured to produce a traditional force vs. displacement curve. The resulting force vs. displacement curve serves as the 'mechanical fingerprint' of the material, from which quantitative nanoscale material properties can be determined. Bruker's Hysitron nanoindenters measure the force and displacement of the nanoindentation probe with a unique three-plate capacitive transducer design. This transducer design provides an unsurpassed noise floor and ultra-low working force.
The tightly controlled construction and calibration standards used for the capacitive transducer in combination with the precisely machined, rigid nanoindentation probes produce quantifiable, reliable measurement on any material.
Analysis of the measured force vs. displacement curve (particularly the unloading segment) provides the user with quantitative information regarding the mechanical properties of the sample. Values typically obtained from quasi-static nanoindentation testing are Reduced Modulus (Er) and Hardness (H). However other information such as fracture toughness, stiffness, delamination force, and film thickness can also be obtained.
All Hysitron standalone nanoindentation systems are capable of in-situ SPM imaging. Using the same probe to scan a sample surface immediately before and/or after a test allows for precise placement of the test as well as observation of deformation events or sample recovery after the test.
Quasi-static nanoindentation from Bruker is designed for maximum versatility. Standard with all Hysitron standalone nanoindentation systems and equipped with a standard maximum force up to 10 mN and a noise floor of less than 30 nN, quasi-static nanoindentation covers a large range of sample testing possibilities.