Magnetic Field-Assisted Processing of Piezoelectric/Magnetostrictive Thin Film Composites to Enhance Properties

  • Bassiri-Gharb, Nazanin (PI)
  • Schwartz, Justin (CoPI)

Project: Research project

Project Details


The research objectives of this grant lie in elucidating the fundamental mechanisms that enhance crystallographic texturing of thin film, multi-phase multilayers obtained by magnetic field-assisted processing. This research will answer the essential questions that determine if magnetic field assisted processing can have a transformative effect on magnetostrictive/piezoelectric (MS/PE) thin film composites (TFCs). Towards this end, a number of magnetostrictive and piezoelectric materials will be studied, including soft and hard PZT compositions, PMN-xPT compositions, a wide range of doped and undoped nickel and cobalt ferrites, and Terfenol-D. Specific issues to be addressed include controlling the microstructure of piezoelectric and magnetostrictive materials independent of layer thicknesses, impact of microstructural control on the behavior of the various layer interfaces, and the relationships between piezoelectric and magnetostrictive layer texture and the interlayer property coupling. These are the key questions that determine if magnetic field processing can become a key element for manufacturing high performance multilayer TFCs for multiferroic applications.

The results of this grant will play an important role in bridging the gap between developing the underlying science basis for magnetic field processing of magnetostrictive/piezoelectric TFCs with the technological impact of a manufacturing-relevant technique for producing high quality multilayer films. These films can then be engineered for compositions, layer thickness, number of layers, etc., to suit applications such as high sensitivity, portable, magnetic field sensors and terrestrial energy harvesters. The availability of multilayer films with epitaxial-like microstructures and properties will provide an important new direction for the development of multiferroic systems. The educational and outreach activities will be executed in three modules: graduate student education and mentoring, including the development of a new graduate course on Ferroic Materials: Structure, Properties, Manufacturing and Applications, research experience for undergraduate students, and K-12 outreach activities for female and minority engineering students.

Effective start/end date8/15/097/31/13


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