The analysis of deformation and failure mechanisms in small-scale devices and thin films is a critical issue, not yet solved. In this presentation, we describe recent advances and developments for the measurement of fracture toughness at small scales by the use of nanoindentation-based methods, including beam-bending methods and micro-pillar splitting. A critical comparison of the techniques is made, by testing a selected group of bulk and thin film materials. Additionally, the extension of the pillar splitting method to the use with different sharp indenters (from Berkovich to cube-corner) and its use for high-temperature testing are discussed. It is concluded that both the micro-cantilever and pillar splitting techniques have become valuable methods for micro-scale assessment of fracture toughness of brittle ceramics, provided the underlying assumptions can be properly validated. Finally, a couple of relevant case studies are presented, including Li-ion battery composites and thermal barrier coatings, in order to demonstrate that fast and reliable industrial application for such methods is possible.
 Sebastiani M, Johanns KE, Herbert EG et al. A novel pillar indentation splitting test for measuring fracture toughness of thin ceramic coatings. Philos. Mag. 2014; 95: 1928-1944.
 Sebastiani M, Johanns KE, Herbert EG et al. Measurement of fracture toughness by nanoindentation methods: Recent advances and future challenges. Curr. Opin. Solid St. M. 2015; 19: 324-333.
 Ghidelli, M., Sebastiani, M., Johanns, K and Pharr, G.M., Effects of indenter angle on micro-scale fracture toughness measurement by pillar splitting, Journal of the American Ceramic Society, 100(12), pp. 5731-5738.
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