Current Applied Physics, Vol.14, No.12, 1755-1759, 2014
Enhanced exchange bias in magnetron-sputtered Ni-Mn-Sb-Al ferromagnetic shape memory alloy thin films
In the present study, the influence of aluminium (Al) addition on the martensite-austenite phase transformation and exchange bias of Ni-Mn-Sb films have been investigated. Ni-Mn-Sb-Al films with different Al concentration (similar to 0-5.6%) were deposited by co-sputtering of Ni-Mn-Sb and Al targets. Experimental results revealed the decrease in martensitic transformation temperature with increasing Al content upto a certain extent (3.3%) beyond which martensitic transformation was suppressed. Paramagnetic to ferromagnetic transition temperature (T-C) also decreased with increasing Al concentration. Ni50Mn36.3Sb10.4Al3.3 thin film showed significant improvement in exchange bias field as compared to pure Ni50.3Mn36.9Sb12.8 thin film. This enhancement in the exchange bias field H-EB = 611 Oe at 10 K is attributed to the increase of AFM-FM interactions that result from the decrease of Mn-Mn distance due to the incorporation of Al atoms. This behaviour is an additional property of the FSMA thin films apart from various other multifunctional properties and therefore, is of technological importance for their applications in magnetic storage devices. (C) 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.