Document Type

Student Presentation

Presentation Date


Faculty Sponsor

Peter Müllner, Nader Rafla, Paul Lindquist


We built a solid-state electronic circuit that controls the flow of current to a series of electromagnetic coils. The electromagnetic coils substitute permanent magnets to apply a magnetic field to a magnetic shape memory alloy (MSMA) element, which undergoes physical deformation where the magnetic field is applied. These deformations manifest in the MSMA element as regions of shrinkage, which can be used to transport a small volume of liquid if the location of the shrinkage is moved.

We construct the circuit from discrete semiconductor devices on a solderless breadboard. An Arduino microcontroller provides control, and a 1500 W power supply provides power. We aim to integrate the control circuit, coils, and MSMA element into a single battery-operated package at a later date. We explored various system configurations with the circuit simulation software LTspice and the finite element magnetics simulation software FEMM. We achieved consistent control of the solid-state electronic circuit and generated considerable magnetic flux at the required locations on the MSMA element. Our circuit shows promise as a substitute for permanent magnets in the actuation of an MSMA element.