In situ nanoindentation and scratch testing inside scanning electron microscopes: Opportunities and challenges

H. Huang; H. Zhao

Science of Advanced Materials 6 (2014) 875-889

In the past few decades, nanoindentation and scratch as typical micro/nano mechanics testing methods have played important roles in scientific research and industrial applications. Now, research on nanoindentation and scratch testing is moving from development of ex situ testing to in situ testing approaches that can characterize mechanical properties of materials as well as allow dynamically observing deformation and damage processes in micro/nano scales. In the first part of this Review, we focus on development of in situ nanoindentation and scratch instruments in combination with scanning electron microscopes, and then highlight their current and prospective applications. The in situ testing principle and instruments of nanoindentation and scratch inside scanning electron microscopes will be understandable. In the second part of the Review, we discuss new potential applications and research directions as well as related issues and challenges, which are meaningful for further development and advanced use of in situ indentation and scratch instruments. © 2014 by American Scientific Publishers.