Materials Transactions Online

Materials Transactions, Vol.47 No.03 (2006) pp.639-644
© 2006 The Japan Institute of Metals

Ferromagnetic Shape Memory Microactuators

Manfred Kohl1, Berthold Krevet1, Makoto Ohtsuka2, Daniel Bruggerhl, Germany} and Yong Liu

1Forschungszentrum Karlsruhe, D-76021 Karlsruhe, Germany
2Tohoku University, IMRAM, Sendai 980-8577, Japan

The technologies for fabrication, micromachining and integration of Ni–Mn–Ga thin films are developed in order to create novel microactuators and sensors. These devices simultaneously make use of the electrical, thermoelastic and ferromagnetic properties of the thin films allowing a new level of multifunctionality and, as a consequence, particularly compact designs. By adjusting the Ni-content of the thin films, the martensitic and ferromagnetic transformation temperatures are tuned close to each other above 373 K, which has important consequences on the device performance such as actuation stroke and response time. This article focuses on the mechanisms, fabrication technologies as well as typical performance characteristics of Ni–Mn–Ga microvalves and microscanners. The present state-of-the-art of FSMA microactuators is highlighted.

(Received 2005/9/22; Accepted 2005/11/7; Published 2006/3/15)

Keywords: ferromagnetic shape memory alloys, nickel–manganese–gallium thin films, microactuators, finite element simulation, fabrication technologies

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