NanoIndenter XP microprobe system

The NanoIndenter XP Mechanical Properties Microprobe System is an automated system for instrumented indentation of materials.

The system consists of a controlled indentation tip with force-controlled vertical displacement. During the indentation, force and displacement versus time are recorded. The specimen is mounted on a precision-controlled x-y stage to precisely position the indentation.

For hard materials, the standard outputs are hardness and elastic modulus. You can also use it for soft tissues with custom data reduction algorithms.

TestWorks 4 software controls the system, allowing great flexibility in design and operating custom testing protocols. The system has a lateral force option for scratch testing, a continuous stiffness module for continuous stiffness monitoring, and a higher precision test head.


NanoIndenter XP microprobe hardware consists of:

  • Indenter.

  • Positioning microscope.

  • Controlling hardware.

A variety of tip geometries are available, including Berkovitch, cube corner, and cone.





1.5 mm

<0.01 nm

DCM Mode: Loads

10 mN

1 nN

XP Mode: Loads

500 mN

50 nN

High Load: Loads

10 N

50 nN


  • Lateral force option: Allows you to measure force in X and Y lateral directions, simultaneous with vertical mode operation.

  • High load option: Extends operation of the XP up to 1 kilogram in vertical load.

  • Continuous stiffness option: Applies a harmonic oscillation on top of the quasi-static motion, allowing continuous monitoring of stiffness. Force amplitudes of 60 nN to 300 mN. Frequency range of 0.05 Hz to 200 Hz.

Dynamic contact module

  • High-resolution dynamic load indentation head.

  • Force resolution: 1 nN.

  • Displacement resolution: < .002 nm.

  • Displacement range: 15 um.


TestWorks 4 Explorer Level software:

  • Controls all components.

  • Records and analyzes data.

  • Operates within Microsoft NT operating system.

  • Explorer level allows extensive programming of test protocol.

  • Data output exports to Excel files.

Hard materials

Well-developed methods for characterizing material properties of small material volumes:

  • Elastic modulus and hardness of metals, ceramics, and other hard materials.

  • Viscoelastic properties of materials using harmonic loading (storage modulus, loss modulus), constant load (creep response), or constant displacement (relaxation response).

  • Scratch testing to determine film adhesion, coefficient of friction, and variation of properties with depth.

Soft tissues

  • Non-penetrating indentation to determine elastic and viscoelastic properties of soft tissues.

  • Micropenetration to determine fracture toughness of soft tissues.

  • Scratch testing to determine fracture toughness of soft tissues.


  • Indentation head assembly.

  • Displacement resolution: <0.01 nm.

  • Total usable indenter travel: 1.5 mm.

  • Maximum indentation depth: > 500 um.

  • Load application: Coil/magnet assembly.

  • Displacement measurement Capacitance gauge.

  • Max load: 10 N.

  • Load resolution: 50 nN.

  • Load frame stiffness: 1 X 107 N/m.

  • Motorized x-y sample manipulation table with computer mouse control. Positioning accuracy: 1.5 um.

  • High-performance vibration isolation system: Air isolation table and passive environmental enclosure.

  • Optical imaging system with 4X and 40X lenses.

  • Fully automated, computerized data acquisition and control system, including monitor and keyboard.


  • Pentium III a450 MHz, 128 MB RAM, 8.4 GB hard drive, 24X read/4X write CD-RW, 3.5 inch 1.44 MB floppy drive, and ZIP drive.

  • Complete operating and data analysis software package: TestWorks 4 Professional level operation package, TestWorks 4 Analyst data analysis package, and Microsoft Office 2000.

  • Hewlett-Packard laser printer.