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Towards Quantitative Characterisation of the Small Force Transducer Used in Nanoindentation Instruments

DOI: 10.4236/mi.2013.24009, PP. 61-67

Keywords: Nanometrology, Nanoindentation Instrument, Nano-Force Transducer, Microelectromechanical Systems, Nano-Force Calibration

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Quantitative characterization of the mechanical properties of materials in micro-/nano-scale using depth-sensing indentation technique demands high performance of nanoindentation instruments in use. In this paper, the efforts to calibrate the capacitive force transducer of a commercial nanoindentation instrument are presented, where the quasi-static characteristic of the force transducer has been calibrated by a precise compensation balance with a resolution of ~1 nN. To investigate the dynamic response of the transducer, an electrostatic MEMS (Micro-Electro-Mechanical System) based on nano-force transfer standard with nano-Newton (10-9 Newton) resolution and a bandwidth up to 6 kHz have been employed. Preliminary experimental results indicate that 1) the force transducer under calibration has a probing force uncertainty less than 300 nN (1σ) in the calibration range of 1 mN; 2) the transient duration at contact points amounts to 10 seconds; 3) the overshoot of engagement is pre-load dependent.


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