Mechanical characterization of individual Ni/Au coated microsize polymer particles

We report on a mechanical characterization technique for individual Ni/Au coated microsize polymer particles. This technique allows a clearer understanding of the effects of load force and rate on the particle deformation. This has been achieved through measurements of the deformation against force using a specially configured nanoindenter machine, where the “indenters,” instead of being pointed, had a flat tip of 20 m in diameter. The results show that the particle deformation process is nonlinear and that the force/deformation at which particle crushing occurs is affected by the load rate. The technique could be used to design/manufacture more effective conductive particles.