Composition and crystallinity in electrochemically deposited magnetostrictive galfenol (FeGa)

Eliot C. Estrine, Matt Hein, William P Robbins, Bethanie J Stadler

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Here, we report the first measurements of magnetostriction as a function of composition for electrodeposited iron-gallium alloys, also known as galfenol. Galfenol is an exciting material due to its large magnetostriction constant (up to 400 ppm) and robust mechanical properties. A wide range of sensors, actuators, and other transducers can be fabricated by taking advantage of galfenol's unique mix of magnetic and mechanical properties. Electrodeposition allows galfenol to be easily integrated into a variety of applications, such as toque sensors with conformal, monolithic active layers. In this work, we examine the underlying factors that influence magnetostriction in electrodeposited galfenol, including crystallinity and composition. Here, we have controlled the film composition, as measured by energy dispersive x-ray spectroscopy, over the range of 5-25% gallium using a single plating bath by varying deposition parameters. This composition range corresponds to the region of largest expected magnetostriction for iron gallium alloys. However, our measured magnetostriction values were significantly lower than the values for single crystal galfenol from literature. The electrodeposited films in this work appeared polycrystalline when measured using x-ray diffraction. When the texture of the film is taken into account, the magnetostriction results closely matched the predicted values. These results show that it is possible to achieve magnetostrictive galfenol thin films over a wide range of compositions using electrodeposition.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number17A918
JournalJournal of Applied Physics
Issue number17
StatePublished - May 7 2014


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