Journal of Materials Research


Nanoindentation and contact-mode imaging at high temperatures

Christopher A. Schuha1 c1, Corinne E. Packarda1 and Alan C. Lunda1

a1 Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139


Technical issues surrounding the use of nanoindentation at elevated temperatures are discussed, including heat management, thermal equilibration, instrumental drift, and temperature-induced changes to the shape and properties of the indenter tip. After characterizing and managing these complexities, quantitative mechanical property measurements are performed on a specimen of standard fused silica at temperatures up to 405 °C. The extracted values of hardness and Young's modulus are validated against independent experimental data from conventional mechanical tests, and accuracy comparable to that obtained in standard room-temperature nanoindentation is demonstrated. In situ contact-mode images of the surface at temperature are also presented.

(Received September 08 2005)

(Accepted December 08 2005)

(Online publication March 2006)

Key Words:

  • Hardness;
  • Nanostructure;
  • Thermal stresses


c1 Address all correspondence to this author. e-mail: