Hysitron TriboIndenter TI 900
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. Typically, the radius across the indentation will be micron to 5 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.