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Atomic-scale microstructure underneath nanoindentation in Al-Cr-N ceramic films
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In this work, Al-Cr-N ceramicfilms deformed by nanoindentation were peeled off from silicon substrates and their atomic-scale microstructures underneath the indenter were investigated by high resolution transmission electron microscope (HR-TEM). Dislocations were formed underneath the indenter and they accumulated along nano-grain boundaries. The accumulative dislocations triggered the crack initiation along grain boundaries, and further resulted in the crack propagation. Dislocations were also observed in nano-grains on the lateral contact area. A model was proposed to describe the variation of microstructures under nanoindentation.
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