Hysitron PI 85 SEM PicoIndenter - Quantitative Nanomechanical Testing Interfaced with Your SEM

The PI 85 is a depth-sensing indenter that can be interfaced with a scanning electron microscope (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 Hysitron’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 PI 85 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 including hardness, stiffness, and modulus
  • Hysitron’s patented transducer provides electrostatic actuation and capacitive displacement sensing
  • Multiple control modes including closed-loop displacement control, closed-loop load control, and open-loop load control
  • Modes of mechanical testing include indentation, compression, bend, and tensile
  • Proprietary Q-Control mode actively dampens transducer oscillations (patent pending)
  • Transducer controlled using the new performech DSP-embedded controller operating at a 78 kHz feedback rate
  • Interchangeable probes available in a variety of geometries to meet the demands of different test types
  • Feedback control to allow testing techniques such as creep and stress relaxation measurements
  • Compact platform for maximum stage tilt and minimum working distance

Other Equipment by this Supplier