Nanoindentation of thin films: Simulations and experiments

AK Nair and MJ Cordill and D Farkas and WW Gerberich, JOURNAL OF MATERIALS RESEARCH, 24, 1135-1141 (2009).

DOI: 10.1557/JMR.2009.0136

Atomistic Simulations of nanoindentation of a 20-nm-thick Ni thin film oriented in the 111 direction were carried out to study the effects of indenter velocity and radii, interatomic potentials, and the boundary conditions used to represent the substrate. The simulation results were compared directly with experimental results of Ni thin film of the same thickness and orientation. It was found that the high indenter velocity does not affect the hardness value significantly. Different radii used for indentation also have negligible effects on the hardness value. Two different interatomic potentials were tested, giving significantly different hardness values but both within 20% of the experimental result. Different boundary conditions used to represent the substrate have a significant effect for relatively deep indentation simulations.

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