Skip to Main Content


Nanoindentation techniques are useful for measuring mechanical properties of materials on a nanometer scale. The technique requires specially designed Indentation Probes with a diamond tip mounted to a metal foil cantilever. These probes are useful for indenting, wear-testing and imaging of sample surfaces using TappingMode AFM. The forces involved when indenting are typically in the range of 1–100 μN (micro-Newtons) for a standard cantilever. A variety of samples can be tested using the same cantilever and laser alignment to obtain equal forces during each test. Then the samples can be imaged and the relevant data compared. Advantages of using cantilevered tips include:

- The ability to image the surface with the diamond tip

- Excellent repeatability

- Low noise for relative measures of hardness and wear

Each probe is individually tested and certified to determine the tip sharpness (<25 nm tip radius), and the spring constant (± 10% accuracy).