The accuracy of measurement of mechanical properties of a material using instrumented nanoindentation at extremely small penetration depths heavily relies on the determination of the contact area of the indenter. Our experiments have demonstrated that the conventional area function could lead to a significant error when the contact depth was below 40. nm, due to the singularity in the first derivation of the function in this region and thus, the resultant unreasonable sharp peak on the function curve. In this paper, we proposed a new area function that was used to calculate the contact area for the indentations where the contact depths varied from 10 to 40. nm. The experimental results have shown that the new area function has produced better results than the conventional function. © 2011 Elsevier B.V
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