Nanoindentation of viscoelastic solids: A critical assessment of experimental methods

Document Type


Publication Date



© 2015 Elsevier Ltd. The viscoelastic functions measured by nanoindentation (or atomic force microscopy), are coupled in complex ways to the measurement system's time constants, phase shifts created by the instrument's electronics, the actuator's dynamics, the instrument's load frame stiffness and requisite modeling assumptions. The ways in which these factors potentially affect the load, displacement, phase angle, stiffness and damping data are discussed in the context of nanoindentation experiments performed in the time and frequency domains. By drawing attention to these potential sources of experimental error, the objective is to motivate experimental verification in a manner that will enhance accuracy and, thus, enable future breakthroughs in the application of nanoindentation to viscoelastic solids.

Publication Title

Current Opinion in Solid State and Materials Science