The nanoindenter is designed to measure the mechanical properties of surfaces on a submicroscopic scale. The indenter takes a small diamond probe, 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 nanometer 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.


Bruker Hysitron TI-980

Sample Requirements/Specifications

  • 1D normal force and 2D normal/lateral force transducer assemblies
  • Samples must be smooth on both front and backside.  Backside polish only needs to be good enough to hold vacuum or glued to metal disk for mounting on stage.
  • Sample must be flat (less than 1 degree of tilt when loaded on stage)
  • Sample Size: less than 10cm laterally, less than 4cm tall
  • Sample roughness will depend on indentation depth, less than 50nm is required
  • Maximum force is 10mN, maximum Displacement in Z is 4um

Testing Modes Available

  • 1D Standard Nanoindentation
  • XPM -  Accelerated Property Mapping
  • 2D Nanoscratch and Nanowear
  • nanoDMA III Dynamic Nanoindentation
  • In-situ SPM Imaging
  • xSol High-Temperature Stage (up to 8000C)

System Transducer Assemby Specifications

  Z-axis X-axis
Maximum Force 10 mN 2 mN
Maximum Displacement 5μm 15μm
Load Noise Floor 20 nN 3.5 μN
Load Resolution 1 nN 50nN
Displacement Resolution 0.006 nm 0.02 nm
Displacement Noise Floor 0.1 nm 2 nm
Thermal Drift Less tank 0.05 nm/sec Less than 0.05 nm/sec
Bruker Nanoindentation Testing Modes Available