Mapping of elastic modulus and hardness in Trochus niloticus seashell nacre by nanoindentation
Author(s)Villarreal, Julián Enrique
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Materials Science and Engineering.
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Positionally-sensitive nanoindentation was carried out in the freshly-cleaved nacre found in the shell of the gastropod mollusk Trochus niloticus. Nacre is a hierarchical biocomposite composed of mineral tablets of 95 weight % calcium carbonate (CaCO3) in the aragonite mineral form and a biomacromolecular organic matrix. Nanoindentation was carried out in a pattern of square grids of 256 indents at maximum loads of 1 mN and 500 gN. The average elastic modulus and hardness for the 1 mN indents were found to be 97.8 GPa + 6.41 GPa and 5.41 GPa ± 0.49 GPa, respectively, and for the 500 gN indents average elastic modulus of 94.8 GPa ± 7.28 GPa and hardness of 4.89 GPa ± 0.53 GPa. Maps of the 2-D spatial distribution of elastic modulus and hardness for the indent areas were generated. Tapping mode Atomic Force Microscopy was performed on the indented nacre after a treatment of surface etching, which revealed the tablet boundaries in order to correlate qualitatively the topographical features with the properties distribution. The properties distribution maps revealed a non-uniform distribution of nanomechanical properties as well as highly-localized regions in which the values of the properties differed from the average values. Future studies may point to a direct correlation between structural heterogeneity and the properties distribution.
Thesis (S.B.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Materials Science and Engineering, June 2007.Includes bibliographical references ( p. 22).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Materials Science and Engineering.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Materials Science and Engineering.