Electrodeposition and characterization of magnetostrictive galfenol (FeGa) thin films for use in microelectromechanical systems

Eliot C. Estrine, William P Robbins, Mazin M. Maqableh, Bethanie J Stadler

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In this paper, we investigate the challenges related to electrodeposition and characterization of magnetostrictive galfenol thin films as well as techniques used to overcome these issues. Successful deposition and evaluation of galfenol thin films is necessary for the design of galfenol based microelectromechanical devices. Stress is a primary concern because thick films and poor adhesion to substrates (e.g., silicon oxide) can lead to delamination and peeling. In addition, magnetostriction measurements require films that are uniform in thickness and composition over the sample area. Various adhesion layers were tested, and delamination was eliminated with Cr/Cu, which provided robust adhesion to the glass substrates used in capacitance bridge measurements. Uniformity and composition were controlled by the use of a rotating disk electrode for electrodeposition, which created a uniform boundary condition across the sample during deposition. The capacitance bridge technique was calibrated with Ni/glass samples, after which a magnetostriction of 140 ppm was measured for Fe83Ga17 films. These results represent the first magnetostriction measurements of electrodeposited galfenol.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number17A937
JournalJournal of Applied Physics
Issue number17
StatePublished - May 7 2013

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We gratefully acknowledge support primarily by the NSF MRSEC program via award DMR-0819885 and partially by the NSF via awards ECCS-1231993 and GOALI CMMI-1000863. Parts of this work were carried out in the University of Minnesota Nanofabrication Center, Characterization Facility, and the University Imaging Center, which receive partial support from NSF through the NNIN program.


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