Our understanding of mechanics is pushed to its limit when the functionality of devices is controlled at the nanometer scale. A fundamental understanding of nanomechanics is needed to design materials with optimum properties. Atomistic simulations can bring an important insight into nanostructure-property relations and, when combined with experiments, they become a powerful tool to move nanomechanics from basic science to the application area. Nanoindentation is a well-established technique for studying mechanical response. We review recent advances in modeling (atomistic and beyond) of nanoindentation and discuss how they have contributed to our current state of knowledge.

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DOI: 10.1016/S1369-7021(06)71496-1