Three-dimensional molecular dynamics (MD) simulations have been performed to investigate behaviors of nanoindentation and nano-scratch. The first case concerns the effects of material defect on the nanoindentation of nickel thin film. The defect is modeled by a spherical void embedded in the substrate and located under the surface of indentation. The simulation results reveal that compared to the case without defect, the presence of the void softens the material and allows for larger indentation depth at a given load. MD simulations are then performed for nano-scratch of single crystal copper, with emphasis on the effect of indenter shape (sharp and blunt) on the substrate deformation. The results show that the blunt indenter causes larger deformation region and much more dislocations at both the indentation and scratch stages. It is also found that during the scratching stage the blunt indenter results in larger chip volume in front of the indenter and gives rise to more friction than the sharp indenter. The scope of the simulations has been extended by introducing a multiscale model which couples MD simulations with Finite Element Method (FEM), and multiscale simulations are performed for two-dimensional nanoindentation of copper. The model has been validated by well-consistent load-depth curves obtained from both multiscale and full MD simulations, and by good continuity of deformation observed in the handshake region. The simulations also reveal that indenter radius and indentation velocity significantly affect the nanoindentation behavior. By use of multiscale method, the system size to be explored can be greatly expanded without increasing much computational cost.

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