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High-throughput characterization of shape memory thin films using automated temperature-dependent resistance measurements

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  26 February 2011

Sigurd Thienhaus
Affiliation:, caesar, Combinatorial Materials Science, Germany
Christiane Zamponi
Affiliation:, caesar, Smart Materials, Germany
Holger Rumpf
Affiliation:, caesar, Smart Materials, Germany
Jae Hattrick-Simpers
Affiliation:, University of Maryland, Materials Science and Engineering, United States
Ichiro Takeuchi
Affiliation:, University of Maryland, Materials Science and Engineering, United States
Alfred Ludwig
Affiliation:, caesar, Combinatorial Materials Science, Germany
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Shape memory alloy (SMA) thin films are used as actuator materials in MEMS due to their unique properties. Binary thin films with a composition close to Ni50Ti50 are well-established materials, whereas ternaries like NiTiCu, NiTiPd, NiTiHf are less studied. Furthermore, new alloys are being developed which show a magnetic shape memory effect, e.g. Ni2MnGa. For the optimization of known, and the development of new, SMA thin films, a fast and reliable characterization technology is needed, which rapidly identifies the transformation temperatures (i.e. martensite and austenite start and finish temperatures) for a range of material compositions deposited on a whole wafer. In this paper, automated temperature-dependent resistance measurements are discussed as a means which yields the thermal hysteresis of the investigated thin films. Results of monitoring the uniformity of shape memory film depositions on the wafer level, as well as results on the use of this method as a tool for screening for new SMA films by characterization of materials libraries are reported.

Research Article
Copyright © Materials Research Society 2006

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