Nanoindenter for scanning electron microscopes

The ZHN/SEM nanoindenter for installation in a scanning electron microscope (SEM) allows micromechanical experiments to be carried out while observing the sample with the highest resolution. It offers the largest measurement range currently available with a maximum displacement measurement of 200 µm and a maximum force of 200 mN while maintaining very low noise of the force and displacement sensors in a low vibration environment. Its device stiffness is so high that conventional hardness measurements can be performed without problems. The standard system is designed to be installed on the benchtop system of various SEMs, but it can also be mounted on the chamber wall. The existing tilting and shifting possibilities of the SEM table can thus be further utilized.

The system consits of:

  • the measuring head with sensors and actuator

  • a piezo stage system for sample displacement in XY direction and optional rotation around the indenter axis

  • a rigid mechanical Z-stage for displacement of the measuring head in the direction of the specimen

  • PC and controller

  • easy to use and very flexible software

  • one or two flanges with feedthroughs (SEM specific)

Special features of the device that distinguish it from other devices are:

  • The indenter can be adapted to customer requirements over a wide range

  • Closed-loop and open-loop force and displacement control are available

  • A dynamic measurement method with frequencies up to 100 Hz for fatigue and continuous stiffness measurements is available as an option

  • A special feature of the measuring head is the usability in compression and tension direction over the entire measuring range

  • Video synchronization: With the recording image can be realized by transmitting the data via TCP-IP to an additional window on the SEM computer