Simultaneous Electrodeposition of Ni-Mn-Ga to Produce a Magnetic Shape Memory Alloy

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Student Presentation

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Faculty Sponsor

Dale Russell


Magnetic shape memory alloys (MSMA) have important applications in fields of industry, research, health, and others. There is strong interest in their use for microelectromechanical devices and integrated circuits. Presently, there are two methods to produce these alloys: physical vapor deposition (PVD) and electrodeposition. Both methods are difficult and complicated. PVD tends to be expensive, wasteful, requiring a large amount of energy, and limited. Previous work in electrodeposition has had limited success and required metals to be individually layered onto the substrate in a specific order. This project is the development of a simpler, less time-consuming method of electrodeposition of all three metals simultaneously. The alloy of interest is the Ni2MnGa MSMA. Simultaneous electrodeposition is challenging because these three metals have different electrochemical properties and different requirements for electroplating. Partial success has been achieved by simultaneous plating of Ni and Mn, producing a ~90% Ni and ~10% Mn alloy. Investigation into non-aqueous electrochemistry is now being done. Metals are first coordinated with organic ligands that stabilize the reduction of the metals. The metal-ligand complexes are then extracted into a non-aqueous solvent and electroplated onto an appropriate substrate. The magnetic shape memory properties are then tested.

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