This paper adopts an atomic-scale model based on the nonlinear finite element formulation to analyze the stress and strain induced in a very thin film during the nanoindentation process. The deformation evolution during the nanoindentation process is evaluated using the quasi-static method, thereby greatly reducing the required computation time. The finite element simulation results indicate that the microscopic plastic deformation in the thin film is caused by instability of its crystalline structure, and that the magnitude of the nanohardness varies with the maximum indentation depth and the geometry of the indenter.

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