Hysitron PI 87xR SEM PicoIndenter - SEM Nanomechanical Test System

5 Degrees of Freedom & Extended Range Mechanical Testing in One Complete System

Hysitron’s PI 87 Series SEM PicoIndenter® instruments are depth-sensing nanomechanical test systems that are specifically designed to leverage the advanced imaging capabilities of modern scanning electron microscopes (SEM, FIB/SEM).

Flexible sample positioning with five degrees of freedom (X, Y, Z, tilt, rotation) provides the user with the ability to align the sample with an ion beam for sample preparation or supplementary detectors to obtain a deeper understanding of a material’s mechanical response.

The PI 87xR offers an increased maximum load and displacement range over the standard PI 87 while maintaining unmatched, industry leading noise performance. With maximum applied forces >100 mN and a maximum displacement of 150 µm , the vacuum compatible PI 87xR bridges the gap between nano- and micro- scale mechanical testing, with the flexibility to comprehensively evaluate material deformation and transformation processes.

With the innovative combination of piezo actuation and capacitive displacement sensing, the PI 87xR is able to accommodate multiple avenues of materials research and a variable load frame allows for the optimization of the experimental setup for your specific testing regime; high force testing for failure generation and yield analysis on hard materials, high displacement testing with a higher sensitivity force measurement for ultra-compliant materials, and a standard range setup for true nanoscale testing.


  • Quantitative measurement of nanomechanical properties including hardness, stiffness, and elastic modulus

  • Extended load and displacement range for inducing yield in large and/or hard structures

  • Freedom to align the sample to the ion beam or other detectors

  • Improved range, resolution, and linearity in X, Y, and Z

  • No exposure to atmosphere between operations

  • Drastically reduced analysis time

  • Unique piezo loading/capacitive sensing system with superior stability and low thermal drift

  • Modes of mechanical testing include indentation, compression, bend, and tensile

  • Proprietary Q-Control mode actively dampens transducer oscillation in vacuum

  • Optimized for SEM with a vacuum compatible transducer and electrically conductive probe

  • Interchangeable probes available in a variety of geometries to meet the demands of different test types

  • Compact platform for maximum stage tilt and minimum working distance

  • Upgradeable with a full complement of advanced PicoIndenter testing modules:

    • 400 °C & 800 °C Heating
    • Push-to-Pull (PTP
    • Electrical Push-to-Pull (E-PTP
    • Electrical Characterization Module (ECM

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