Cryogenic Testing

Alemnis pioneered in situ micromechanical experiments at low (cryogenic) temperatures, and has ever since continued the development to provide convenient and reliable experimenting. The Alemnis LTM-CRYO module utilizes liquid nitrogen to cool the sample and the tip down to temperatures as low as -150 °C while it can also be heated up to 200 °C.  This add-on module was developed and optimised with the aim to provide a unique solution for cryo in situ micromechanical testing of all kinds of materials and features:

  • Highest temperature stability
  • Most precise thermal match between Tip and Sample
  • Minimal thermal drift
  • Constant system compliance across all temperatures

Selected Application Examples

Micropillar compression

Micropillar compression of of 1.4305 stainless steel at low temperatures reveals strain-induced martensite transformation,  as reported by Cios, G.  et al. (Metall Mater Trans A 48, 4999–5008, 2017). Micropillars were fabricated by Fs-Laser with a final FIB polishing.

Particle compression at -150 °C from 500 µm/s up to 5’000 µm/s


Cryogenic testing combined with high strain rates: Stainless steel particle compression. (Courtesy of Politecnico di Milano)


Nanoindentation of fused silica at low temperatures reveals the well-known trend of decreasing elastic modulus at increasing hardness.

High Strain Rates at Low Temperatures

Nickle at Low Temperatures & High Strain Rates (Schwiedrzik, J. et al. Mater. Des. 2022, 220, 110836.)

Selected References

  1. Chen, M. et al. Exploring defect behavior and size effects in micron-scale germanium from cryogenic to elevated temperatures. Matter 6, 1903–1927 (2023).
  2. Dubosq, R. et al. Electron microscope loading and in situ nanoindentation of water ice at cryogenic temperatures. PLoS One 18, e0281703 (2023).
  3. della Ventura, N. M. et al. Temperature dependent critical stress for {101¯2} twinning in magnesium micropillars at cryogenic temperatures. Scr. Mater. 226, 115195 (2023).
  4. Schwiedrzik, J. et al. Dynamic cryo-mechanical properties of additively manufactured nanocrystalline nickel 3D microarchitectures. Mater. Des. 220, 110836 (2022).
  5. Widmer, R. N. et al. Temperature–dependent dynamic plasticity of micro-scale fused silica. Mater. Des. 215, 110503 (2022).
  6. Thomas, K. et al. Elevated and cryogenic temperature micropillar compression of magnesium–niobium multilayer films. J. Mater. Sci. 54, 10884–10901 (2019).
  7. Ast, J. et al. The brittle-ductile transition of tungsten single crystals at the micro-scale. Mater. Des. 152, 168–180 (2018).