Static Atomistic Simulations of Nanoindentation and Determination of Nanohardness

[+] Author and Article Information
Yeau-Ren Jeng1

Department of Mechanical Engineering,  National Chung Cheng University, Chia-Yi, Taiwanimeyrj@ccu.edu.tw

Chung-Ming Tan

Department of Mechanical Engineering,  National Chung Cheng University, Chia-Yi, Taiwan and Department of Mechanical Engineering,  Wufeng Institute of Technology, Chia-Yi, Taiwan


To whom correspondence should be addressed.

J. Appl. Mech 72(5), 738-743 (Jan 19, 2005) (6 pages) doi:10.1115/1.1988349 History: Received December 30, 2004; Revised January 19, 2005

This paper develops a nonlinear finite element formulation to analyze nanoindentation using an atomistic approach, which is conducive to observing the deformation mechanisms associated with the nanoindentation cycle. The simulation results of the current modified finite element formulation indicate that the microscopic plastic deformations of the thin film are caused by instabilities of the crystalline structure, and that the commonly used procedure for estimating the contact area in nanoindentation testing is invalid when the indentation size falls in the nanometer regime.

Copyright © 2005 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figure 1

Atomistic model used in nanoindentation simulations (Units: angstrom)

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Figure 2

Load-depth curves for maximum indentation depths of 4Å, 7Å, and 10Å: (a) spherical indenter, and (b) pyramidal indenter

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Figure 3

Representation of elasto-plastic deformation mechanism observed in the simulations

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Figure 4

Atomic configurations of copper crystal at maximum indentation depth following unloading for two indenters of different geometry. Note that (a) and (b) represent the cross sections through the indenter tip and parallel with the (1 0 0) plane for the pyramidal indenter, while (c) and (d) present the equivalent cases for the spherical indenter.

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Figure 5

von Mises shear stress and slip vector distributions for indentation to a depth of 4Å using a spherical indenter. (a)–(b) Distributions of von Mises shear stress viewed in the [111] and [001] directions, respectively. (c)–(d) Distributions of the norm of the slip vector viewed in the [111] and [001] directions, respectively.

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Figure 6

Flooded contour diagrams of contact pressure distributions on the copper surface. (a) Spherical indenter; (b) pyramidal indenter. The two bold contour lines represent the boundaries of the contact areas where contact pressure vanishes. (Stress units: GPa.)



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