Mechanical Properties of Micro-regions in Cement-based Material based on the PeakForce QNM Mode of AFM

Mei Ren, Tao Shi*, David J. Corr, Surendra P. Shah

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


In this paper, the cement paste and the mortar were tested using the PF-QNM technique. It is shown that the PF-QNM technique is very powerful to characterize the mechanical properties of micro- and nanostructures in the cement-based materials. It does not have strict requirements for test environment and it does not damage the surface of the material. High-resolution images can be obtained very easily, and they can be analyzed statistically. The test results show that PF-QNM analysis can test not only the mechanical properties of the cement paste, but also investigate the interfacial regions in the cement-based material, including the variation in the mechanical properties of interface regions and the extension of the interfacial regions. During the test, care must be taken to choose the size of test area; indeed, a test area too small is not representative but too large leads to lack of stability. The recommended side is a square with a length of in the range 10–30 μm.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)893-899
Number of pages7
JournalJournal Wuhan University of Technology, Materials Science Edition
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 1 2019


  • AFM
  • PF-QNM
  • Young’s modulus
  • cement pastes
  • interface
  • micro- and nano-structure
  • mortar
  • nanoindentation
  • peakforce tapping

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)


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