Nanoindentation (NI) is a nano-mechanical test that provides the mechanical properties from precise compliance measurements. In addition, nanoindentation analysis is especially useful in measuring properties such as the modulus and hardness of various shaped and sized materials. For example, nanoindentation is useful to characterize semiconductor thin films, packaging, advanced alloys, thermal barrier coatings, polymer viscoelasticity, scratch and wear resistance.
Nanoindentation uses contacts, where a probe is pushed into a solid, while the penetration depth is recorded simultaneously with near-atomic resolution. In addition, this capability can reduce the probing volume down to an order of magnitude of 100 nm3, which allows the use of continuum mechanical contact models to extract properties like hardness and modulus for thin films and constituents of microstructures. The contact geometries and testing methods are configurable so that mechanical characterization can be extended to brittle properties, adhesion, stress-strain, scratch, wear or structural stiffness of microstructures.
Nanoindentation experiments are typically conducted either quasi-statically or dynamically, while the properties are extracted using contact or oscillator physics.
In conclusion, nanoindentation is a great tool to investigate many mechanical properties of a material.
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