An Atomic Force Microscopy Tip Model for Investigating the Mechanical Properties of Materials at the Nanoscale

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Investigation of the mechanical properties of materials at the nanoscale is often performed by atomic force microscopy nanoindentation. However, substrates with large surface roughness and heterogeneity demand careful data analysis. This requirement is even more stringent when surface indentations with a typical depth of a few nanometers are produced to test material hardness. Accordingly, we developed a geometrical model of the nanoindenter, which was first validated by measurements on a reference gold sample. Then we used this technique to investigate the mechanical properties of a coating layer made of Balinit C, a commercially available alloy with superior anti-wear features deposited on steel. The reported results support the feasibility of reliable hardness measurements with truly nanosized indents.


Document Type: Short Communication


Publication date: May 1, 2008

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  • Journal for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (JNN) is an international and multidisciplinary peer-reviewed journal with a wide-ranging coverage, consolidating research activities in all areas of nanoscience and nanotechnology into a single and unique reference source. JNN is the first cross-disciplinary journal to publish original full research articles, rapid communications of important new scientific and technological findings, timely state-of-the-art reviews with author's photo and short biography, and current research news encompassing the fundamental and applied research in all disciplines of science, engineering and medicine.
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