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Continuous electrical in situ contact area measurement during instrumented indentation

  • Lei Fang (a1), Christopher L. Muhlstein (a2), James G. Collins (a2), Amber L. Romasco (a2) and Lawrence H. Friedman (a1)...

The primary tool for mechanical characterization of surfaces and films is instrumented indentation using the Oliver-Pharr data analysis method. However, this method measures contact area between the indenter and sample indirectly, thus confounding instrumented indentation tests when characterizing dynamic properties, thin films, and materials that “pileup” around the indenter. Here, we demonstrate an electrical technique to continuously measure the in situ contact area by relating nonlinear electrical contact current–voltage (I–V) curves to the instantaneous contact area. Using this approach, we can obtain hardness as a continuous function of applied force.

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Journal of Materials Research
  • ISSN: 0884-2914
  • EISSN: 2044-5326
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