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Title: Recent advances in small-scale mechanical property measurement by nanoindentation

Since its initial development in the early 1980’s [1], nanoindentation has matured into one of the premier testing techniques for measuring mechanical properties at the micrometer and sub-micrometer scales and has emerged as a critical tool that has helped to shape the nanotechnology revolution. At the heart of the technique are testing systems with simple but precise force actuators and displacement measuring devices that record the force–displacement record as a diamond indenter, usually the form of a pyramid or a sphere, is pressed into and withdrawn from a small region in the surface of a material of interest. The nano-scale force–displacement data, which can be obtained with a spatial resolution as small as a few nanometers, contains a wealth of information about the local mechanical properties [2], [3] and [4]. This enables the mechanical characterization of very thin films, like those used in the semiconductor, magnetic storage, and hard coatings industries, as well as very small precipitates, particles and second phases, many of which may not exist in bulk form and cannot be characterized by traditional mechanical testing methods. Here, computer automation of nanoindentation testing systems now routinely provides for complete two-dimensional mapping of properties over regions stretching from sub-micronmore » to millimeters in scale.« less
  1. Univ. of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN (United States); Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Grant/Contract Number:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Current Opinion in Solid State and Materials Science
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 19; Journal Issue: 6; Journal ID: ISSN 1359-0286
Research Org:
Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Basic Energy Sciences (BES) (SC-22)
Country of Publication:
United States