X. Wang, Y. Bellouard, and J. J. Vlassak, "Laser annealing of amorphous NiTi shape memory alloy thin films to locally induce shape memory properties," Acta Materialia 53, 4955–4961 (2005).
 
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We present the results of a crystallization study on NiTi shape memory thin films in which amorphous films are annealed by a scanning laser. This technique has the advantage that shape memory properties can be spatially distributed as required by the application. A kinetics study shows that nucleation of the crystalline phase occurs homogenously in the films. Consequently, the laser annealing process produces polycrystalline films with a random crystallographic texture. The crystallized films have a uniform microstructure across the annealed areas. The material in the crystalline regions transforms reversibly to martensite on cooling from elevated temperature and stress measurements show that a significant recovery stress is achieved in the films upon transformation. (Download / PDF)