Tomography Mapping with NanoBlitz 4D

NanoBlitz 4D is an indentation technique that provides precise and accurate mechanical property tomograms (i.e., volumetric information) on engineering materials, multi-layer devices, and components in short time periods. Nanoblitz 4D provides contact stiffness, indenter displacement, and applied load as a function of position within a volume of tested material by using the dynamic actuation capabilities of Nanomechanics, Inc. nanoindenters. This information is then changed to elastic modulus and hardness data that can be exported to external programs or explored within the data review software. NanoBlitz 4D is not just the accumulation of multiple indents carried out by traditional indentation testing techniques. NanoBlitz 4D builds upon decades of experience and development in the field of nanomechanics that employs modern software programming, engineering mechanics, and instrument control to provide high-speed testing that removes traditional artifacts of indentation testing (e.g., environmental influences and thermal drift). The user can be certain that each data point within the volume of information is accurate and precise.

Tomogram slices at different depths showing the hardness of cobalt cemented tungsten carbide for machining tools

Nanomechanics, Inc. developed Nanoblitz 4D in order to provide solutions and address applications for two specific problems that have existed in engineering and materials science:

  • For the manufacturing it is essential to understand the mechanical behavior engineering components (e.g., electronics packaging, multi-layer chip devices, thin-films on substrates). These types of structures have been analyzed by scanning electron microscopy, x-ray diffraction, and other various techniques. However, the lifetime and reliability of such components is directly related to mechanical properties and to particularly how varied structures within the component mechanically interact. NanoBlitz 4D provides a novel and efficient tool for analyzing the interaction of complex engineering materials at a small scale.
  • Researchers at the basic materials science level have highlighted that the standard indentation technique is limited based on information. A user could traditionally perform 10 to 20 indentations on a sample, and then average the results in order to establish the elastic modulus and hardness. Advanced researchers demonstrated that statistical information, i.e., huge amounts of information, can provide a more characteristic view of the mechanical behavior of materials. NanoBlitz 4D, with high-speed capabilities, has the potential to provide huge amounts of data and more importantly assigns each and every datapoint an accurate position in space (x, y, and z). Thus, NanoBlitz 4D makes room for new and exciting opportunities for researchers to analyze unique microstructures and materials.

Principal Applications of NanoBlitz 4D:

As stated above, NanoBlitz 4D addresses two problems present in materials science. The applications within each subset comprise of both areas of interest and particular materials systems, including but not limited to:

  • Electronics packaging materials
  • improved engineering microstructures
  • Extremely thin films on substrates (e.g., less than 100 nm thickness)
  • Multi-layer chip devices for computer architecture and central processing units
  • Surface modifications, e.g., surface texturing, case-hardened steel, etc

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