skip to main content


Title: Indentation-derived elastic modulus of multilayer thin films: Effect of unloading induced plasticity

Nanoindentation is useful for evaluating the mechanical properties, such as elastic modulus, of multilayer thin film materials. A fundamental assumption in the derivation of the elastic modulus from nanoindentation is that the unloading process is purely elastic. In this work, the validity of elastic assumption as it applies to multilayer thin films is studied using the finite element method. The elastic modulus and hardness from the model system are compared to experimental results to show validity of the model. Plastic strain is shown to increase in the multilayer system during the unloading process. Additionally, the indentation-derived modulus of a monolayer material shows no dependence on unloading plasticity while the modulus of the multilayer system is dependent on unloading-induced plasticity. Lastly, the cyclic behavior of the multilayer thin film is studied in relation to the influence of unloading-induced plasticity. Furthermore, it is found that several cycles are required to minimize unloading-induced plasticity.
 [1] ;  [2]
  1. Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States)
  2. Univ. of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM (United States)
Publication Date:
Report Number(s):
Journal ID: ISSN 0884-2914; 566971
Grant/Contract Number:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Journal of Materials Research
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 30; Journal Issue: 15; Journal ID: ISSN 0884-2914
Materials Research Society
Research Org:
Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA)
Country of Publication:
United States
36 MATERIALS SCIENCE; nanoindentation; elastic properties; film
OSTI Identifier: