Influence of modulus-to-hardness ratio and harmonic parameters on continuous stiffness measurement during nanoindentation Academic Article uri icon


  • 2017 Acta Materialia Inc. Dynamic nanoindentation is a popular method for continuously probing the mechanical properties of a sample as a function of depth. It is shown here that special caution should be exercised when testing materials with high modulus-to-hardness ratios (E/H) at fast loading rates, as the choice of harmonic parameters can result in a significant underestimation of the contact stiffness and hence the elastic modulus. The origin of this behavior is traced back to a bias occurring during signal processing by the lock-in amplifier. The possible consequences of flawed measurements are highlighted and a practical method for detecting possible occurrence from the phase angle signal is presented.

published proceedings


altmetric score

  • 3

author list (cited authors)

  • Merle, B., Maier-Kiener, V., & Pharr, G. M.

citation count

  • 60

complete list of authors

  • Merle, Benoit||Maier-Kiener, Verena||Pharr, George M

publication date

  • August 2017