Ferromagnetic shape memory alloys for positioning with nanometric resolution

Feuchtwanger, Jorge; Asua, Estibalitz; García-Arribas, Alfredo; Etxebarria, Victor; Barandiaran, Jose M.
August 2009
Applied Physics Letters;8/3/2009, Vol. 95 Issue 5, p054102
Academic Journal
Ferromagnetic shape memory alloys are promising active elements for actuators. Our work centered on achieving and maintaining an intermediate fixed deformation so that they can be used as precision positioning actuators. For this purpose, a custom actuator was built using a single crystal of NiMnGa. The results show that these alloys can be controlled within less than 5 nm for both precision and accuracy, a result comparable to piezoelectric ceramics. Interestingly, the defect structure plays a fundamental role in achieving such performance. The stochastically distributed defects determine a progressive diminution of the magnetic field strength required to achieve the control.


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