High-temperature nanoindentation in vacuum with the NanoTest Xtreme

With the nanomechanical measuring platform NanoTest, Micro Materials had already developed a universal nanoindenter with a wide range of options to facilitate measurements in different ambient conditions.

NanoTest Xtreme is the next step in vacuum nanoindenter technology. It is the first commercially available vacuum nanoindenter that enables measurement temperatures from -100 °C to +850 °C.

Typical application fields of this new nanoindenter are engine development in aerospace research, the analysis of radiation effects on materials that are used in nuclear reactors and high temperature tests in the development of steam pipes for power plants.

Main benefits of the NanoTest Xtreme are:

  • Temperature range: 100 °C to 850 °C
  • 10 - 5 mbar vacuum
  • Ultra-low drift due to the unique and well-established system design of the NanoTest
  • Full range of nano mechanical measurement options including nanoindentation, scratch, wear, friction and impact tests
  • Optional backfilling of vacuum chamber with gas

At the University of Oxford the Nano­Test Xtreme was used to measure the material behavior of silicon at high temperatures.

First, micro cantilever bending experiments were performed to determine the mechanical properties at different temperatures and to investigate the temperature-dependent deformation mechanisms of silicon.

Figure 1 shows typical load deformation curves of a bending experiment at 110 °C and 700 °C. A significant difference can be seen: at 110 °C silicon is brittle, while at 700 °C it shows ductile behavior.
High-temperature nanoindentation tests show the temperature range of the brittle/ductile behavior transition of silicon.

Figure 2 shows nanoindentation tests at 500 °C and 650 °C with different loads. The increased creep at maximum load and the steeper unloading curve point to a transition from brittle to ductile behavior above 500 °C.

Please contact us for further information on the NanoTest Xtreme and other possible applications.


More information on NanoTest Xtreme


Dr. Stefano Pergolini
Dr. Stefano Pergolini


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