The Role of the Scanning Probe Microscopy in Nano-mechanical Testing
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Scanning probe microscopy in nano mechanical testing has started with the invention of the scanning tunneling microscope in the year 1981. Till then based on the type of principles there are number of models developed and are in use. Scanning probe microscopy found popularity owing to its ease in versatility in dealing with a number of issues, typically it is used to identify the material properties on nano to even pico scales. Scanning probe microscopy techniques such as atomic/friction force microscopy(AFM/FFM) are increasingly finding applications in tribological studies of engineering surfaces as well for finding surface texture etc. Atomic and molecular level details can be assessed using Scanning probe microscopy with great ease and the instruments are highly versatile. AFMs with suitable tips are being used to study issues like scratching, wear etc. Scratch and wear properties of variety of materials have been measured. Mechanisms of material removal are also studied. Localized surface elasticity maps of composite materials with penetration depths less than 10nm can be found using SPM with nano mechanical testing procedures. Nano indentation hardness and the young’s modulus of elasticity can be measured with a depth of indentation as low as 1nm. Scratching and indentation on the nano scale are powerful ways to screen for adhesion and resistance to deformation of ultrathin coatings. These studies provide insight into failure mechanisms of the materials and thin coatings. SPM in nano mechanical testing provides insight into the surface characterization and provided glimpse of failure mechanisms study. (Bhushan, 2001). The manner of using interactions between the probe and the surface to obtain an image is gene...
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