Hysitron PI 87 SEM PicoIndenter - Depth-Sensing Indenter with Five Degrees of Freedom

The PI 87 is a depth-sensing mechanical test instrument that is designed to be interfaced with a scanning electron microscope (SEM) or FIB/SEM.

This system will perform quantitative nanomechanical testing while simultaneously imaging with the SEM. Furthermore, sample positioning with five degrees of freedom (X, Y, Z, rotation, and tilt) gives the user the freedom to align the sample with an ion beam for sample prep/modification or various detectors for advanced analysis.

This system is specifically designed for the SEM, with a vacuum-compatible transducer and an electrically conductive probe. With Hysitron’s patented capacitive transducer technology, 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 87 system is ideal for characterizing fracture onset and crack propagation, delamination, and pile-up. The pairing of nanomechanical testing with electron microscopy provides unique insights into the mechanisms responsible for material’s behavior.

The PI 87 SEM PicoIndenter offers the most advanced in situ nanomechanical testing flexibility inside your SEM or FIB/SEM.


  • Quantitative measurement of nanomechanical properties including hardness, stiffness, and modulus
  • Hysitron’s patented transducer provides electrostatic actuation and capacitive displacement sensing
  • Freedom to align the sample to the ion beam and various detectors
  • Improved range, resolution, and linearity in X, Y, and Z
  • Superior sample alignment for mechanical testing
  • Drastically reduced analysis time
  • No exposure of sample to atmosphere between operations
  • Proprietary Q-control mode actively dampens transducer oscillations (Patent pending)
  • Interchangeable conductive probes in a variety of geometries

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