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The nanoindenter is designed to measure the mechanical properties of surfaces on a submicroscopic scale. The indenter takes a small diamond, which is shaped as either a pyramid or a sphere, and pushes the diamond tip into the surface of the material being tested. The depth of indentation can range from a couple of hundred nanometers to a maximum of 4 microns. By measuring the force required to push the diamond tip into the material compared to the depth of the indentation, the instrument can determine the hardness of the sample. Seeing to what degree the material returns to its previous shape determines its elastic modulus - the stiffness of its atomic bonds. In addition to mechanical properties, the nanoindenter can be used to scratch films and coatings to see how they stand up to wear.


Hysitron TI-900
Sample Requirements/Specifications
  • normal force and lateral force 2D transducer assembly
  • Samples must be mounted to a metal disk to mount on one of three magnetic positions of the stage
  • Sample Size: less than 4cm laterally, less than 2cm tall
  • Sample must be flat (less than 1 degree of tilt)
  • Sample roughness will depend on indentation depth, less than 100nm is required
  • Maximum Displacement in Z for us is 4um
  Z-axis X-axis
Maximum Force 10 mN or 30 mN 2 mN
Load resolution 1 nN 3 μN
Load noise floor 100 nN 10μN
Maximum displacement 5μm 15μm
Displacement resolution 0.04 nm 4 nm
Displacement noise floor 0.2 nm 10 nm
Thermal drift Less tank 0.05 nm/sec Less than 0.05 nm/sec