Experimental study and analytical model of deformation of magnetostrictive films as applied to mirrors for x-ray space telescopes

Xiaoli Wang, Peter Knapp, S. Vaynman, M. E. Graham, Jian Cao, M. P. Ulmer*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


The desire for continuously gaining new knowledge in astronomy has pushed the frontier of engineering methods to deliver lighter, thinner, higher quality mirrors at an affordable cost for use in an x-ray observatory. To address these needs, we have been investigating the application of magnetic smart materials (MSMs) deposited as a thin film on mirror substrates. MSMs have some interesting properties that make the application of MSMs to mirror substrates a promising solution for making the next generation of x-ray telescopes. Due to the ability to hold a shape with an impressed permanent magnetic field, MSMs have the potential to be the method used to make light weight, affordable x-ray telescope mirrors. This paper presents the experimental setup for measuring the deformation of the magnetostrictive bimorph specimens under an applied magnetic field, and the analytical and numerical analysis of the deformation. As a first step in the development of tools to predict deflections, we deposited Terfenol-D on the glass substrates. We then made measurements that were compared with the results from the analytical and numerical analysis. The surface profiles of thin-film specimens were measured under an external magnetic field with white light interferometry (WLI). The analytical model provides good predictions of film deformation behavior under various magnetic field strengths. This work establishes a solid foundation for further research to analyze the full three-dimensional deformation behavior of magnetostrictive thin films.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6256-6267
Number of pages12
JournalApplied optics
Issue number27
StatePublished - Sep 20 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Engineering (miscellaneous)
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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