AFM nanoindentation is nowadays not so widespread for the study of mechanical properties of materials at the nanoscale. 'Nanoindenter' machines are presently more accurate and more standardized. However, AFM could provide interesting features such as imaging the indentation impression right after the load application.In this work a new method for nanoindentation via AFM is proposed. The use of AFM allows hardness measurement with standard sharp AFM probes and a simultaneous high-resolution imaging (which is not achievable with standard indenters—cube corner and Berkovich). How the shape of the indenter and the tip radius of curvature affect the hardness measurement is here analysed with three different approaches: experiments, numerical simulations and theoretical models. In particular the effect of the tip radius of curvature, which is not negligible for the real indenters, has been considered both in the nature of the indentation process, than in the practice of imaging with AFM.A final theoretical model has been developed, that includes the effect of the tip radius of curvature as well as variable corner angle. Through this model we have been able to define a correction factor which permits us to evaluate the actual hardness of the material, once the radius of curvature of the tip is measured.
AFM nanoindentation: tip shape and tip radius of curvature effect on the hardness measurement / L., Calabri; N., Pugno; C., Menozzi; Valeri, Sergio. - In: JOURNAL OF PHYSICS. CONDENSED MATTER. - ISSN 0953-8984. - STAMPA. - 20:47(2008), p. 474208. [10.1088/0953-8984/20/47/474208]