Microactuators of free-standing TiNiCu films

Yong Qing Fu, J. K. Luo, Andrew Flewitt, Soon-Eng Ong, Sam Zhang, Hejun Du, William Milne

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Citations (Scopus)


Ti50Ni47Cu3 films were prepared using magnetron sputtering deposition, and their martensitic transformation and mechanical properties were characterized. Free-standing TiNiCu films showed an intrinsic two-way shape memory effect which is attributed to a composition gradient through the film thickness. Different types of TiNiCu microactuators, including microtweezers and microcages, have been successfully fabricated which employ this two-way shape memory effect for operation. Upon heating/cooling, the microtweezers showed both horizontal and vertical displacement due to combined shape memory and thermal effects. The microcage actuators could be opened/closed through substrate heating with a maximum temperature of 90 °C, or by electrical heating with a power less than 5 mW and a maximum frequency of 100–300 Hz. Issues related to the fabrication and applications, such as stability and beam bending after release, have been addressed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2651-2657
JournalSmart Materials and Structures
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 6 Nov 2007


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