Hysitron PI 85L SEM PicoIndenter – Versatile In-Situ Mechanical Testing Platform

Bruker’s Hysitron PI 85L SEM PicoIndenter is a depth-sensing nanomechanical test instrument that can be interfaced with scanning electron microscopes (SEM).

With this system it is possible to perform quantitative nanomechanical testing while simultaneously imaging with the SEM. Coupling these two techniques allows the researcher to position the probe extremely accurately and to image the deformation process throughout the test.

This system is designed for exceptional performance in the electron microscope, with a vacuum-compatible transducer and an electrically conductive probe. With Bruker’s capacitive transducer, force is applied electrostatically and displacement is measured capacitively. This low-current design provides low thermal drift and industry-leading stability and sensitivity.

The Hysitron PI 85L system is ideal for characterizing fracture onset and crack propagation, delamination, and pile-up. Also, time-sensitive phenomena such as viscoelastic behavior can be observed in real time. The pairing of these two high-resolution techniques provides unique insight into the mechanisms responsible for materials behavior.


  • Quantitative measurement of nanomechanical properties—hardness, elastic modulus, yield strength, fracture toughness, creep, and stress relaxation
  • Low-profile design ideal for SEMs, Raman and optical microscopes, beamlines, and more
  • Unique transducer technology featuring electrostatic actuation and capacitive displacement sensing
  • Range of mechanical testing modes, including indentation, compression, bend, tensile, and fatigue
  • Interchangeable probes in a variety of geometries to meet the demands of different testing modes
  • Multiple control modes, including closed-loop displacement control, closed-loop load control, and open-loop load control
  • Proprietary Q-Control software for active dampening of vibrations and greater stability at nanoscales

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