Thin Solid Films 494 (2006) 179 - 183

Nanoindentation with Vickers or Berkovich tips has become an established technique for the measurement of hardness and Young's modulus. Also the use of spherical indenters has attracted more and more attention for the determination of the Young's modulus and yield strength. However, these techniques are still far away from the conditions in a real applications where usually normal forces are combined with lateral forces in a tribological system. Therefore, often scratch and wear tests are used additionally to characterize the mechanical behavior. However, conventional techniques, which apply lateral forces, have the disadvantage that they often do not deliver characteristic and comparable material parameters which are independent of the measurement conditions and which can serve as input parameters for the modeling with analytical or finite element methods. This shall be overcome by a new technique, which will allow the measurement of lateral force-displacement curves with the same accuracy like conventional nanoindentation can do in normal direction. The realization of two independent measurements with the same tip at the same sample position will allow the calculation of more unknown material parameters than before. The use of spherical indenters with forces at which elastic or beginning plastic deformation takes place makes it easier to combine the measurements with analytical stress calculations and to derive critical material parameters. As a first step towards the abovementioned characterization method, a new nanomechanical tester with a high-resolution measurement of force and displacement in normal and lateral direction was developed and tested.