Functional fatigue of submicrometer NiTi shape memory alloy thin films

Huilong Hou, Yuan Tang, Reginald F. Hamilton, Mark W. Horn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Submicrometer NiTi alloy thin films prepared using biased target ion beam deposition (BTIBD) recently revealed ultranarrow thermal hysteresis and a B2 ⇌ R-phase transformation path. Here, the authors investigate the influence of thermal cycles on the phase transformation characteristics of near-equiatomic NiTi alloy films with 800 nm thicknesses deposited using BTIBD. Evolution of transformation temperatures, thermal hysteresis, and recovery stress over thermal cycles is tracked using the wafer curvature method, and changes in atomic crystal structures are detected using x-ray diffraction. The authors find that the submicrometer thin films exhibit stabilized transformation temperatures, consistent recovery stresses, and reproducible narrow thermal hysteresis over up to 100 cycles although Ni49.7Ti50.3 films undergo two-stage phase transformation B2 → R-phase → B19′ while Ni50.3Ti49.7 films have one-stage transformation between the B2 and R-phases. The inherent deposition mechanism and transformation-path-related lattice distortion can be responsible for the reduced fatigue of functional characteristics in submicrometer NiTi alloy thin films.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number040601
JournalJournal of Vacuum Science and Technology A: Vacuum, Surfaces and Films
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 1 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films


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