iNano® Nano Indenter

An easy to operate, highly accurate solution for performing nanoscale mechanical tests on thin films and soft materials. Setup and measurement is fast and efficient, across a wide range of test types. Visualise mechanical properties with NanoBlitz 3D and 4D property mapping and the remote video option.

Manufacturer

KLA

A global technology leader who make an impact by creating solutions that drive progress and transform industries. Collaboration is the key to their success. KLA provide leading-edge technology and devices using advanced inspection tools, metrology systems, and computational analytics. Their solutions accelerate tomorrow’s electronic devices. The enable evolution and innovation in the data era across key industries including automotive, mobile and data centre.

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iNano® Nano Indenter

Nano Indenters

Key Features

  • InForce 50 actuator for capacitance displacement measurement and electromagnetic force actuation with interchangeable tips
  • Unique software-integrated tip-calibration system for fast, accurate tip calibration
  • InQuest high speed controller electronics with 100kHz data acquisition rate and 20µs time constant
  • XY motion system with easy mounting magnetic sample holder
  • Integrated microscope with digital zoom for precise indentation targeting
  • ISO 14577 & standardised test methods
  • InView software package with RunTest, ReviewData, InFocus reporting, InView University online training and InView mobile application
  • NanoBlitz 3D & 4D Property Mapping
  • Sample Heating

Make Nano Indentation Simple

KLA’s iNano® Nano Indenter is powered by the InView software package, which provides a modern and flexible interface to interact with nano indentation systems. In under a minute even inexperienced users can configure mechanical testing with InView’s guided setup. InView supports a wide selection of standard mechanical test procedures out of the box. Additional test methods for novel materials or new experiments can be programmed by users, and InView provides full control over all test parameters.

To ensure every user can maximise the potential of nano indentation, KLA provides access to a comprehensive learning portal with each instrument. A range of online webinars and documentation, covering both fundamental principles and advanced applications is available.

Flexibility to Suit All Applications

The iNano has been design to be modular and customisable, with a range of options to adapt to almost any application. A sample heating chamber is available, which has a maximum heating temperature of 300°C. Samples are heated uniformly, with precision temperature control. Sample heating can be used together with many of the iNano’s mechanical testing modes.

To ensure maximum performance for high-sensitivity applications, an active vibration isolation system can be added. The isolation provides vibration reduction in six degrees of freedom, with no complicated setup or tuning required. A remote video option is also available, providing additional viewing angles inside the iNano’s chamber.

A Comprehensive Suite of Mechanical Tests

The iMicro supports a wide range of mechanical test types. Hardness and modulus tests (Oliver-Pharr) can be performed on a wide range of materials, including soft materials such as ultra-soft gels. Full support for ISO 14577 hardness testing is also included as standard. Scratch and wear tests can be performed on a broad set of materials, including thin films and polymers.

For more advanced testing, the iNano can be configured for Continuous Stiffness Measurement (CSM), substate-independent thin film measurement with AccuFilm™, and ProbeDMA™ for testing viscoelastic properties of polymers. A package is also available providing complex modulus measurement for biomaterials.

Fast & Accurate Measurement

With the iNano, nanoscale mechanical testing is quick and reliable. The InForce actuator design used by KLA is based on electromagnetic force actuation and capacitance displacement technology. This design allows for the force actuation and displacement measurement to be decoupled, making it possible to independently optimise them to maximise performance. InForce actuators have a high stiffness and maximised vertical stability, and feature the highest calibration stability on the market.

To further ensure accuracy, regardless of material or load, the iNano uses a high-stiffness carbon fibre gantry. Passive vibration isolation is integrated into the iNano enclosure, providing a low noise floor during measurement.

Visualise Mechanical Properties with NanoBlitz 3D & NanoBlitz 4D

3D nanomechanical property maps can be generated with NanoBlitz 3D. Using the iNano’s motorised XY stage, NanoBlitz 3D uses an array of up to 100,000 indents to produce a property map of a sample region. Young’s modulus, hardness, and stiffness values are recorded for each indent. NanoBlitz 3D is fast, with each indent taking less than 1 second to perform, including stage movement.

By expanding the iNano’s Continuous Stiffness Measurement (CSM) capability, NanoBlitz 4D is able to generate mechanical property tomography. By performing up to 10,000 indents at 5 to 10 seconds per indent, mechanical properties can be visually mapped at multiple depths. Young’s modulus, hardness, and stiffness values are recorded as a function of depth for each indent.

Shown left: NanoBlitz 3D image showing hardness mapping
Shown right: NanoBlitz 4D mapping at two different depths

Industries

  • Universities, research labs and institutes
  • Semiconductor and packaging industry
  • Polymers and plastics
  • MEMS: Micro-electro-mechanical systems/nanoscale universal testing
  • Ceramics and glass
  • Metals and alloys
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Coatings and paints
  • Polymer manufacturing
  • Composites
  • Batteries and energy storage

Applications

Hardness and modulus measurements (Oliver-Pharr)

Mechanical characterisation is critical in the process and manufacture of films, including the quality of coatings in the automotive industry, as well as during process control of front-end and back-end semiconductor manufacturing.

The iNano nanoindenter is capable of measuring hardness and modulus for a wide variety of materials, from ultra-soft gels to hard coatings. The high speed assessment of these properties enables quality control and assurance on production lines.

High speed material property maps

For many materials, including composites, the mechanical properties may vary widely from one area to the next. The iNano provides a sample stage movement of 100mm in the X and Y axes, and 25mm in the Z axis, allowing testing of a wide range of sample heights over a large sample area. The optional NanoBlitz Topography and Tomography software can quickly generate colour maps of any of the measured mechanical properties.

ISO 14577 hardness testing

The iNano nanoindenter includes a pre-written ISO 14577 Test Method that measures material hardness in compliance with the ISO 14577 standard. This test method automatically measures and reports Young’s modulus, instrumented hardness, Vickers hardness and the normalized work-of-indentation.

Polymer tan delta, storage and loss modulus

The iNano nanoindenter is capable of measuring both tan delta and the storage and loss modulus for ultra-soft materials, including viscoelastic polymers. Storage and loss modulus and tan delta are important properties of viscoelastic polymers, whose energy is stored as elastic energy and dissipated as heat. Both of these metrics measure energy dissipation in a given material.

High Temperature Nanoindentation Testing

Nanoindentation at elevated temperatures is critical to characterizing material performance under thermal stress, especially for quantifying failure mechanisms during thermomechanical processing. Varying the sample temperature during mechanical testing enables not only measurement of thermal-induced behavioural changes, but also quantification of the transition plasticity of materials that are not easily tested on the nano-scale.

Industry

Semiconductor Wafers

Semiconductor manufacturers often strive to produce thin films with high mechanical integrity, but low film flexibility can lead to cracking or delamination. Undetected defects at the substrate and epitaxial layers can also result in latent defect and crack propagation, which can lead to device failure. KLA nanoindenters are capable of measuring elastic modulus and hardness of the thinnest films, as well as fracture toughness and cracking threshold, all without artefacts from the underlying substrate. Correlating nanomechanical properties to process parameters is critical to maximise semiconductor device yield.

Semiconductor Packaging

The performance and lifetime of an electronic component can depend upon the integrity of its packaging. KLA nanoindenters allow semiconductor packaging manufacturers to assess the mechanical properties of polymer underfills, solder strain-rate sensitivity, and the strength of metallic components.

Polymers and Plastics

Polymers and plastics are used in many applications due to their time-dependent deformation properties. Whether used as vibration dampers, extrusion materials, or medical implants, polymers are often analysed via dynamic mechanical analysis (DMA). In many cases, the geometries of plastic components are not suitable for traditional DMA instruments. KLA nanoindenters are able to locally target areas on a plastic component and examine frequency-dependent storage and loss moduli and loss factors regardless of the geometry of the sample. Viscoelastic creep and stress relaxation properties can also be measured with the iNano.

Ceramics and Glasses

Ceramics and glasses are important materials used in many applications for their unique optical, mechanical, and electrical properties. Traditional mechanical testing of ceramics and glasses (e.g., 4-point bending) can be time-consuming and expensive. The iNano allows for rapid characterisation of elastic modulus and hardness of small volumes of material. The scratch testing capability of nanoindenters is also well-suited to quantitatively assess the scratch resistance of optical coatings.

Metals and Alloys

Metals and alloys play an important role in many industries, such as automotive, aerospace, medical, and semiconductor. Traditional mechanical testing of metals and alloys (e.g., tensile testing) can be time-consuming and expensive. The iNano allows for rapid characterisation of small volumes of material. It also allows users to characterise elastic modulus, hardness, and creep resistance, as well as gradients in these properties as a function of spatial location.

Batteries and Energy Storage

Mechanical properties of battery materials are closely tied to the battery’s stability, charge capacity, and lifetime. The iNano nanoindenter is well-suited for testing a wide range of battery materials, from soft lithium to hard ceramic substrates. The iNano provides advanced measurement solutions in many environments, including dry rooms and glove boxes.

Pharmaceutical, Food and Personal Care

The mechanical properties of pharmaceuticals, food, and personal care products are strongly linked to customer satisfaction and experience. The elastic modulus or stiffness of a material can be related to texture and feel. The mechanical properties of coatings are also critical to on-time drug delivery. The iNano nanoindenter provides quantitative information that supplements qualitative customer feedback.

Nanoscale Universal Testing

The iNano nanoindenter systems are capable of measuring nanoscale mechanical deformation and other nanomechanical properties. Measurement of nanoindentation, compression, tension, creep, stress relaxation, and fatigue are examples of the iNano’s versatile capabilities. Standard and custom experimental methods are supported. The dedicated scientists in the nanoindenter group at KLA are also available for consulting and experiment design.

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Product Videos

iNano® Nano Indenter

Nano Indenters

Technical Specifications

Nanoindenter Tips Application Note

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A Critical Assessment of the Fffect of Indentation Spacing on the Measurement of Hardness and Modulus

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Cross-Sectional DMA Testing on Automotive Tires Using Continuous Stiffness Measurement on Nanoindentation

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Effect of Annealing on 50nm Gold Films

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In Vitro Complex Shear Modulus of Bovine Muscle Tissue (Steak)

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Instrumented Indentation Testing with the KLA Nano Indenter® systems

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Mechanical Characterization of Sol-Gel Coatings Using KLA Nano Indenter systems

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Strain Rate Sensitivity of Thin Metal Films by Instrumented Indentation

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Critical Assessment of High Speed Nanoindentation Mapping Technique and Data Deconvolution

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Nano Indenter Product Family Line Card

View Technical Specification

Brochures

iNano® Nano Indenter Brochure

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Options

Continuous Stiffness Measurement (CSM)

Continuous stiffness measurement is used to quantify dynamic material properties, such as strain rate and frequency-induced effects. The CSM technique involves oscillating the probe during indentation to measure properties as a function of depth, force, time, or frequency. The option comes with a constant strain rate experiment that measures hardness and modulus as a function of depth or load, which is the most common test method used across academia and industry. CSM is also used for other advanced measurement options, including the ProbeDMA™ method for storage and loss modulus measurements and AccuFilm™ substrate-independent measurements. The CSM is integrated into the InQuest controller and InView software to deliver ease of use and data quality.

300°C Sample Heating

The 300°C sample heating option allows the sample to be placed into a chamber for uniform heating while simultaneously undergoing tests with the InForce 50 actuator. The option includes high-precision temperature control, inert gas backfill to reduce oxidation, and cooling to remove waste heat. ProbeDMA, AccuFilm, NanoBlitz and CSM are all compatible with the sample heating option.

Remote Video option

The Remote Video Option provides two more viewing angles within the iNano chamber, in addition to the existing microscope objective. One bracket is mounted for focusing on the indenter tip during the test, an ideal setup for flexures and soft materials. The second bracket mounts on the gantry for viewing both the sample and the microscope objective during test setup. Switching the view between the standard microscope objective and the USB camera is software-controlled.

Indenter Tips and Calibration Samples

The InForce 50 and Gemini actuators utilize interchangeable tips. A wide variety of sharp indenters are available, such as Berkovich, cube corner and Vickers, as well as flat punches, sphere punches, and other geometries. Standard reference materials and calibration standards are also available for the entire product line.

True Test I-V Electrical Measurements

Controlled through the InView software, the True Test I-V option for the iNano nanoindenter is and utilizes a precision ammeter and voltage source, a through-tip electrical path, and a conductive tip. This design allows the user to apply specific voltages to a sample and measure the current at the tip while simultaneously operating the InForce 50 actuator.

Active Vibration Isolation with Modular Rack System

The optional high-performance active vibration isolation system provides additional vibration isolation for the iNano nanoindenter, on top of its built-in vibration isolation. This easy-to-install system provides vibration reduction in all six degrees of freedom, with no tuning required. A Modular Rack System houses all components conveniently within an integrated rack.

User Method Development for InView Control Software

InView is a powerful, intuitive experiment-scripting platform that can be used for designing novel or complex experiments. Experienced users can set up and perform virtually any small-scale mechanical test using the iNano system equipped with the exclusive InView option.

DataBurst

DataBurst enables systems equipped with InView software and the InQuest controller to record displacement data at rates > 1kHz for measuring high strain step loads, pop-in and other high speed events. iNano systems outfitted with the User Method Development option can also modify methods to work with DataBurst.

Scratch and Wear Testing Method Pack

Scratch testing involves the application of either a constant or ramped load to an indenter while moving across the sample surface at a specified velocity. Scratch testing allows characterization of numerous materials such as thin films, brittle ceramics and polymers.

Biomaterials Method Pack

The Biomaterials Method Pack provides the ability to measure the complex modulus of biomaterials with shear moduli on the order of 1kPa, and utilizes Continuous Stiffness Measurement (CSM). The pack includes a flat-punch tip and a test method for evaluation of viscoelastic properties. This measurement technique is key to characterizing small scale biomaterials that are not well-served by traditional rheometer instruments.

ProbeDMA™ Polymer Method Pack

The Polymer Pack provides the ability to measure the complex modulus of polymers as a function of frequency. The pack includes a flat-punch tip, a viscoelastic reference material, and a test method for evaluation of viscoelastic properties. This measurement technique is key to characterizing nanoscale polymers and polymer films that are not well-served by traditional dynamic mechanical analysis (DMA) test instruments.

AccuFilm™ Thin Film Method Pack

The AccuFilm Thin Film Method Pack is an InView test method based on the Hay-Crawford model for measuring substrate-independent material properties using Continuous Stiffness Measurement (CSM). AccuFilm corrects for substrate influence on film measurements for hard films on soft substrates, as well as for soft films on hard substrates.

NanoBlitz 4D

NanoBlitz 4D utilizes the InForce 50 actuator and a Berkovich tip to generate 4D maps of nanomechanical properties for both low-E/H and high-E (>3GPa) materials. NanoBlitz performs up to 10,000 indents (30×30 array) at 5-10s per indent, and provides Young’s modulus (E), hardness (H), and stiffness (S) values as a function of depth for each indent in the array. NanoBlitz 4D utilizes a constant strain rate method. The package includes visualization and data handling capabilities.

NanoBlitz 3D

NanoBlitz 3D utilizes the InForce 50 actuator and a Berkovich tip to generate 3D maps of nanomechanical properties for high-E (> 3GPa) materials. NanoBlitz performs up to 100,000 indents (300×300 array) at < 1s per indent, and provides Young’s modulus (E), hardness (H), and stiffness (S) values at a specified load for each indent in the array. The large number of tests enables increased statistical accuracy. Histogram charts show multiple phases or materials. The NanoBlitz 3D package includes visualization and data handling capabilities.

Service Support

Comprehensive repairs and servicing

Annual Support Programs

Your metrology instrumentation is a major investment that is critical to your business operation and success. In today’s competitive climate, it is more important than ever to extend the functionality and peak performance of your metrology equipment years beyond the expiration of your factory warranty. CN Tech’s Support Programs will help ensure that your investment is protected, and that you and your instrument’s are always operating at peak performance.

With over 20 years’ experience servicing and repairing you can be assured that your system is in safe hands. The independent services we offer include system relocation, maintenance visits, parts and consumables, and break down interventions.

CN Tech’s Support Programs are an economical way to guarantee optimal working condition:

  • Annual Preventive Maintenance
  • Priority Technical Assistance
  • Preferred Parts Availability
  • On-Site User Training
  • Remote Diagnostics
  • No surprise repair expense and much more!

Support Contact Example

An example of our service and support contracts are shown below:

Brochures

Metrology & Instrumentation Annual Support Programs 2022/23

CN Tech's Support Programs will help ensure that your investment is protected, and that you and your instrument’s are always operating at peak performance.

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