Indentation fracture experiments on aluminium-titanium nitride nanolaminates were conducted both inside and outside of a scanning electron microscope (SEM). Remarkably, indentation fracture toughness increases with increasing strength for bilayer thicknesses less than 10nm. In addition, slower strain rates favour formation of lateral cracking while increasing rates favour formation of radial cracks. SEM movies show that an increase in radial crack length does not occur during the unloading cycle; this is due to flow of aluminium into the cracks during unloading and is a form of self-healing which should be applicable to metal-ceramic nanolaminates in general.
- Fracture Toughness
- Thin Film