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Hardness of microscopically thin layers

PTB-News 3.2015
Especially interesting for


microelectronics, microsystems technology

biology, medicine

MEMS nanoindentor system with a ruby sphere as an indentor

An MEMS-based nanoindentor, which was developed at PTB, allows simultaneous measurement of the indentation depth and of the indentation force. Tactile extraction of the indentation imprint is no longer necessary, which saves time. Due to the compact design and the possibility of precise mass production, it is possible to use a large number of sensors arranged in parallel. Since the MEMS can measure small forces, it is particularly well-suited to determine the elastic/plastic properties of ultra-thin layers having a thickness between 10 nm and 1 µm, which play a significant role in optics, in microelectronics or in the production of microsystems parts. It is also possible to carry out measurements on cell membranes. (Technology Offer 0135)


can be used down to nanolayer thicknesses

on-site applications possible

small dimensions

high precision thanks to MEMS structure

Contact person for questions about technology transfer

Andreas Barthel,
Phone: +49 (0)531 592-8307,
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