Nanoscratch Testing | Bruker

Nanoscratch Testing: An Overview

Nanoscratch testing is a versatile tool for analysis of both thin films and bulk materials. Nanoscratch provides the capability to investigate modes of deformation and fracture that are not possible using standard indentation techniques. A nanoscratch test is accomplished by applying a normal load in a controlled fashion while measuring the force required moving the tip laterally across the sample. By selecting the appropriate normal loading profile and lateral displacement pattern, many different types of tests can be performed. The damage incurred from the scratch test is then typically observed using optical or scanning probe microscopy (SPM) imaging. Bruker's Hysitron nanoindenters provide in-situ SPM imaging of the sample with nanometer resolution for immediate feedback of the test results.

Easily Acquire Quantitative Results

Nanoscratch can be used for a wide range of different tests and comes with a versatile load function editor for simple test design. Bruker has created an easy-to-use software product that was designed by experimentalists for experimentalists.

This software allows the user to define the applied normal load and the lateral displacement across the surface of the sample. A single scratch with a ramped normal load is shown below. From this data, useful information, such as critical load, film adhesion, and delamination force, can be measured. The software can also be used to generate a load function that repeatedly scratches over the surface of the sample with a defined normal load, thus enabling reciprocating wear testing. Nanoscratch data, in conjunction with in-situ SPM images, provides a wealth of information concerning a materials behavior under simultaneous normal and lateral stresses.

Nanoscratch Testing | Bruker

Nanoscratch data from a ramping force scratch test on protective glass coating showing point of delamination (red arrow) and the associated friction measurement. Plots were generated automatically using TriboScan software.

Advanced Nanoscratch Analysis Software

In addition to TriboScan software for test setup and analysis, Bruker's Hysitron nanoscratch systems come standard with TriboView, an offline analysis package that enables users to gain additional information from images generated using in-situ SPM imaging. Users can also use the TriboView software to quickly generate images and plots for reporting purposes, including 3D images.

3D Nanoscratch Image | Bruker

3D nanoscratch image of a low-k film, showing evidence of film failure.

Nanoscratch Test Equipment

A wide variety of test equipment and application-specific techniques are available to perform nanoscratch testing. For general information about nanoindentation test equipment, see our Hysitron Nanoindenter Overview page.

Hysitron Standalone Nanoscratch Equipment

Hysitron TI 980 TriboIndenter | Bruker

TI 980 TriboIndenter

Bruker's most advanced nanomechanical and nanotribological test instrument, operating at the intersection of maximum performance, flexibility, reliability, sensitivity and speed.

Hysitron TI Premier | Bruker

TI Premier

Versatile nanomechanical and nanotribological test instrument, supporting a broad range of hybrid and correlative characterization techniques.

Hysitron TS 77 Select Nanoindenter | Bruker

TS 77 Select

Dedicated nanomechanical test instruments, providing an essential toolkit of core nanoscale mechanical characterization techniques.

Hysitron Nanoscratch Equipment Interfaced to Microscopy Systems

Hysitron PI 8X SEM PicoIndenter BRUKER

PI 89 SEM PicoIndenter

Bruker’s comprehensive in-situ nanomechanical test instrument for SEM and FIB/SEM, featuring our full suite of techniques.

Hysitron PI 95 TEM PicoIndenter | Bruker

PI 95 TEM PicoIndenter

The first full-fledged depth-sensing indenter capable of direct-observation nanomechanical testing inside a transmission electron microscope (TEM).


Hysitron TS 75 TriboScope | Bruker

TS 75 TriboScope

Quantitative, rigid-probe nanoindentation and nanotribological characterization on your existing AFM.