Nanoscale elastic-plastic deformation and stress distributions on the C plane of sapphire single crystal during nanoindentation
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NOTICE: this is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in the Journal of the European Ceramic Society. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in the Journal of the European Ceramic Society, vol. 31, no. 10, 2011, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jeurceramsoc.2011.04.012
The nanoscale elastic-plastic characteristics of the C plane of sapphire single crystal were studied by ultra-low nanoindentation loads with a Berkovich indenter within the indentation depth less than 60 nm. The smaller the loading rate is, the greater the corresponding critical pop-in loads and the width of pop-in extension become. It is shown that hardness obviously exhibits the indentation size effect (ISE), which is 46.7 plus or equal to 15 GPa at the ISE region and is equal to 27.5 plus or equal to 2 GPa at the non-ISE region. The indentation modulus of the C plane decreases with increasing the indentation depth and equals 420.6 plus or equal to 20 GPa at the steady-state when the indentation depth exceeds 60nm. Based on the Schmidt law, Hertzian contact theory and crystallography, the possibilities of activation of primary slip systems indented on the C surface and the distributions of critical resolve shear stresses on the slip plane were analyzed.
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