Ebatco provides nano-hardness, elastic modulus, and stiffness measurements through nanoindentation tests.

Typical Experimental Results:





Nanocompression  Nanofatigue  Nanohardness
 Nanoimpact  Nanoimprint  Nanoindentation
 Nanolithography  Nanomachining  Nano pull off force
 Nano pull on force  Nanoscale Creep Test  Nanoscale Stress Relaxation Test
 Nanoscratch  Nanotensile  Nanotribology
 Nanowear  Biological Sample Testing  Correlation between Nanoindentation and Other Analytical Analysis
 Fracture Toughness  Friction under Extremely Low Load  Mechanical Test on MEMS Beam
 Nanoindentation in Liquid  Nanoindentation under Environmental Control  Nanoindentation under High/low Temperature
 Nanomechanical Property Depth Profile  Nano/micro Feature Testing  Nano Particle Testing
 Nanoscale Dynamic Mechanical Analysis  Quantum Dot Testing  Test and Evaluation of Miniaturized Devices
 Thin Film Interfacial Adhesion Measured using Nanoscratch  Ultra Thin Film Testing  Young’s Modulus


For more information please read our application notes:
In-situ and Small-Volume Fracture Toughness Measurement via Nanoindentation
Nanoindentation for Hardness and Elastic Modulus Measurements at Nanoscale


Instruments: Multi-Technique and Full-Feature Nanoindentation System


Key Specifications:

Modulus Precision ± 1%
Displacement Range 15 μm
Displacement Resolution 0.02 nm
Force Range 30 nN to 10 mN
Force Resolution 1 nN
Heat Stage Range 5 to 300 C
Atmosphere Open Air, Inert Gas


In-situ and Small-Volume Fracture Toughness Measurement via Nanoindentation


For hardness testing via nano/micro indentation, any cracking caused by sharp indenter tip and excessive load is undesirable and will lead to questionable data. However, such phenomenon and capability has been proven to be very useful in evaluating one of the critical mechanical properties of materials: fracture toughness. Fracture toughness is a measure of the materials ability to resist crack propagation and fracture under stress. Commonly used methods for evaluating fracture toughness of materials include bending, tension and impact tests of a specimen with a sharp crack or a defined notch. As regulated and recommended by many ASTM and international testing standards, these methods require the specimen with sufficient thickness and dimensions to ensure measurement validity. In many industrial and technical applications that involve small volume of materials, however, these requirements could not be practically met, for example in thin films, coatings, welds and miniaturized devices. The unmet needs by the conventional fracture toughness measurement methods have offered an excellent opportunity for the nanoindentation based techniques that are developed for mechanical characterization of small volume materials at nanoscale. Benefited from the established model and in-situ scanning probe microscopy (SPM) imaging capability, fracture toughness measurement via nanoindentation has become a preferred technique for in-situ and small-volume fracture behavior study of materials.


To measure fracture toughness of small volume of materials, a relative high load is chosen for a nanoindentation routine with the goal of creating cracks at the corners of the indent. Then the indented surface is imaged using the nanoindenter’s in-situ SPM imaging function to capture the fine features of corner cracks of the indent as shown in Figure 1. The fracture toughness of the material is calculated using the following equation:




Where Kc is the indentation fracture toughness; E is elastic Young’s modulus, H is the hardness, P is the peak load and c is the average crack length from the center of the indent to the tips of the cracks. The constant, α, is a value related to the tip geometry and its values are known for cube cornered, Berkovich and Vickers tips.




Very conveniently, the hardness values required for determining the fracture toughness can be easily measured by using a smaller load and performing the normal nanoindentation test without causing any cracks. The Young’s modulus is derived from the reduced elastic modulus determined through nanoindentation and the Poisson’s ratio of the material. The crack length is measured from the center of the indent for all formed cracks using imaging software. Table 1 presents indentation fracture toughness values of a few specimens made of different materials using nanoindentation method.





Nanoindentation for Hardness and Elastic Modulus Measurements at Nanoscale


Nanoscience and nanotechnology accelerate the proliferation of novel materials and devices possessing small sizes and low dimensions such as nanomaterials and ultra thin films. Mechanical testing and characterization of these materials have exposed challenges to the traditional hardness and tensile testing and measurement tools. Nanoindentation, also referred to as instrumented or depth-sensing indentation, is a proven technology for measuring nanomechanical properties of materials and miniaturized devices. Both hardness and elastic modulus of a material can be precisely determined through analysis of a load-displacement curve enerated by a single nanoindentation test using the well-established Oliver-Pharr method.


The nanoindenter equipped in Ebatco’s Nano Analytical and Testing Laboratory (NAT Lab) is a full-feature, multi-technique nanomechanical and nanotribological test system. It performs closed-loop controlled nanoindentation tests with sub-nanometer and nanoNewton resolutions. Experiments can be conducted at room, elevated or reduced temperature, submerged in liquid, or under humidity control. The in-situ scanning probe microscopy (SPM) capability of the instrument enhances the nanoindentation function by enabling SPM imaging of the surface and positioning the indenter tip with nanometer precision over the feature to be studied. The materials that have been tested cover almost all man-made materials including alloys, ceramics, composites, glass, metals, polymers, steels. The applications of nanoindentation onto natural materials like wood, bamboo, geological samples, and biological samples such as bones, tooth, and arteries are increasing. Examples of material formats and devices that can be tested through nanoindentation include thin films, coatings, nanoparticles, nanowires, bulk material surfaces and interfaces, MEMS, and electronic and biomedical devices.








Figure 2. Nanohardness profile for a chemically treated titanium alloy (upper) and the tested surface with the indents imaged through in-situ SPM imaging (lower).


ASTM Number Title Website Link
E2546-15 Standard Practice for Instrumented Indentation Testing Link