Three martensitic Ni51.4Mn28.3Ga20.3 thin films sputter-deposited on a Mo foil were investigated with regard to their crystal and magnetic domain structures, as well as their magnetic and magnetostrain properties. The film thicknesses, d, were 0.1, 0.4 and 1.0μm. X-ray and electron diffraction patterns revealed a tetragonal modulated martensitic phase (10 M) in the films. The surface topography and micromagnetic structure were studied by scanning probe microscopy. A maze magnetic domain structure featuring a large out-of-plane magnetization component was found in all films. The domain width, δ, depends on the film thickness as δ ∼ sqrt(d). The thickness dependencies of the saturation magnetization, saturation magnetic field and magnetic anisotropy were clarified. Beam cantilever tests on the Ni-Mn-Ga/Mo composite as a function of magnetic field showed reversible strains, which are larger than ordinary magnetostriction.
- Ferromagnetic shape memory alloys
- Magnetic domains
- Thin films