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AFM indentation method used for elastic modulus characterization of interfaces and thin layers.

Monclus, M A; Young, T J; Di Maio, D (2010) AFM indentation method used for elastic modulus characterization of interfaces and thin layers. J. Mater. Sci., 45 (12). pp. 3190-3197.

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Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) is increasingly being used as a nanoindentation tool to measure local elastic properties of surfaces. In this paper, a method based on AFM in force volume mode is employed to measure the elastic modulus distribution at the interface of a glass flake-reinforced polypropylene sample and at a lead-free Cu-solder joint. Indentation arrays are performed using a diamond AFM tip. The processing of experimental AFM indentation data is automated by customised software that can analyse and calibrate multiple force curves. The analysis algorithm corrects the obtained force curves by selecting the contact point, and subtracting the non-contact region and the cantilever deflection from the measured force curve in order to obtain true indentation curves. A Hertzian model is then applied to the resulting AFM indentation data. Reference materials are used to estimate the tip radius needed to extract the elastic modulus values. With the proposed AFM measurement method we are able to obtain high-resolution maps showing elastic modulus variations around a composite interface and a Cu-solder joint. No distinct interphase region is detected in the composite case, whereas a separate intermetallic layer (1-2 mm thick) of much higher Young's modulus (~ 131 GPa) than Cu (~ 72 GPa) and solder (~ 50 GPa) material is identified in the Cu-solder joint. Elastic modulus results obtained for the Cu, solder and glass materials are comparable to results obtained by instrumented indentation (IIT), which accentuates the potential of this method for applications requiring high lateral resolution.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM), Nanoindentation, Force Curves, Elastic Modulus, Intermetallics, Composite Interface
Subjects: Advanced Materials
Advanced Materials > Mechanical Measurement
Last Modified: 02 Feb 2018 13:15
URI: http://eprintspublications.npl.co.uk/id/eprint/4619

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