Transformation Behavior of Ni-Mn-Ga/Si(100) Thin Film Composites with Different Film Thicknesses

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A series of Ni51.4Mn28.3Ga20.3/Si(100) thin film composites with different film thicknesses varying from 0.1 to 5 μm have been prepared by magnetron sputtering and subsequently annealed. X-ray powder diffraction patterns of the films show the features associated with the lattice-modulated martensitic phase and/or cubic austenite at room temperature. 220-fiber texture was confirmed by the X-rays measurements made at 150◦C. While the Curie temperature is almost film thickness independent, the martensitic transformation temperature shows a strong descended dependence in the submicron range. The substrate curvature measurements demonstrate that the forward and reverse martensitic transformation in the films is accompanied by the reversible relaxation and accumulation of residual stress, originally created by the thermal treatment due to the difference in thermal expansion of the film and substrate. The values of residual stresses measured by both substrate curvature and X-rays diffraction methods at constant temperatures are found to be dependent on the film thickness. This behavior appears in correlation with the thickness dependence of the transformation temperature.