AIF’s Hysitron Ubi-1 Nanoindenter is a quasistatic indentation system for nanomechanical testing of mechanical properties, including Young’s modulus, hardness, and fracture toughness. It is ideal for measuring mechanical properties of coatings and thin films, as well as the spatial dependence of hardness and elastic modulus. Its three-plate capacitive transducer design allows for a high displacement sensitivity and a low thermal drift.

In situ scanning probe microscopy (SPM) capabilities are also available to image sample surfaces before and after indentation. The piezoelectric scanner used for SPM imaging can also be used for automated mechanical testing at multiple locations within an imaged area. Creep, stress relaxation, and surface adhesion can also be studied using closed-loop load- or displacement-controlled indentation modes.

Analysis software accompanies the system to calculate reduced moduli and hardnesses from unloading curves and measured tip area functions.

Users may select from a variety of indentation tips from AIF’s stock (including Berckovich, NorthStar cube corner, cono-spherical, and fluid cell tips) or supply their own tips for testing. An overview of available tips and a tip selection guide are available on Hysitron website at



Maximum Force 10 mN
Load Resolution 1 nN
Load Noise Floor 100 nN
Maximum Displacement 20 µm
Displacement Resolution 0.04 nm
Displacement Noise Floor 0.2 nm
Thermal Drift < 0.05 nm/sec
Maximum Range of Piezoelectric Scanner 60 µm x 60 µm


SPM image after measurement

SPM image of fused silica sample after indentation


an example

Loading and unloading curves for an indentation into fused silica