Analysis of nanoindentation response of diatorp frustules

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Diatom frustules have been suggested for numerous nanotechnological applications. Experimental studies using nanoindenter have shown that the hardness and the stiffness of the frustules vary with location of indentation. To gain further insight, a computational framework has been developed where the Berkovich nanoindentation experiments were simulated by a rigid-deformable contact process. Three different approaches that provide progressively increasing level of understanding of the deformation behavior of frustules were adopted. The differences in the mechanical responses of the frustule due to variation of indentation location, size of pores, and distribution of pores were analyzed. It has been found that the effective stiffness of the frustule is linearly related to the porosity level and does not depend on the frustule size or its pore architecture. It has been shown that a 3D porous shell computational model is more appropriate to simulate the experimentally obtained mechanical response of diatom frustules. Copyright © 2007 American Scientific Publishers All rights reserved.

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Journal of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology