Quantitative in situ nanoindentation in an electron microscope

Minor, A. M.; Morris, J. W.; Stach, E. A.
September 2001
Applied Physics Letters;9/10/2001, Vol. 79 Issue 11
Academic Journal
We report the development of a method for quantitative, in situ nanoindentation in an electron microscope and its application to study the onset of deformation during the nanoindentation of aluminum films. The force–displacement curve developed shows the characteristic “staircase” instability at the onset of plastic deformation. This instability corresponds to the first appearance of dislocations in a previously defect-free grain. Plastic deformation proceeds through the formation and propagation of prismatic loops punched into the material, and half loops that emanate from the sample surface. These results represent the first real time observations of the discrete microstructural events that occur during nanoindentation. © 2001 American Institute of Physics.


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