Surfaces and interfaces of complex oxides materials provide a rich playground for the exploration of novel magnetic properties not found in the bulk but also the development of functional interfaces to be incorporated into applications. We have recently been able to demonstrate a new type of hybrid spin filter/ magnetic tunnel junction. Our hybrid spin-filter/magnetic-tunnel junction devices are epitaxial oxide junctions of La<sub>0:7</sub>Sr<sub>0:3</sub>MnO<sub>3</sub> and Fe<sub>3</sub>O<sub>4</sub> electrodes with magnetic NiMn<sub>2</sub>O<sub>4</sub> barrier layers. Depending on whether the barrier is in a paramagnetic or ferromagnetic state, the junction exhibits magnetic tunnel junction behavior where the spin polarized conduction is dominated by the electrode-barrier interface or spin filter behavior where conduction is dominated by barrier layer magnetism.
The volume and weight budgets in missiles and gun-launched munitions have decreased with the military forces' emphasis on soldier-centric systems and rapid deployability. Reduction in the size of control actuation systems employed in today's aerospace vehicles would enhance overall vehicle performance as long as there is no detrimental impact on flight performance. Functional materials such as shape memory alloys (SMA's) offer the opportunity to create compact, solid-state actuation systems for flight applications. A hybrid SMA model was developed for designing micro-actuated flow effectors. It was based on a combination of concepts originally presented by Likhatchev for microstructural modelling and Brinson for modelling of transformation kinetics. The phase diagram for a 0.1mm SMA wire was created by carrying out tensile tests in a Rheometrics RSA-II solids analyser over a range of temperatures from 30°C to 130°C. The characterization parameters were used in the hybrid model to predict the displacement-time trajectories for the wire. Experimental measurements were made for a SMA wire that was subjected to a constant 150g load and short, intense 4.5 to 10V pulses. Actuation frequency was limited by the cooling rate rather than the heating rate. A second set of experiments studied the performance of SMA wires in an antagonistic micro-actuator set-up. A series of 2 or 3V step inputs were alternately injected into each wire to characterize the peak to peak displacement and the motion time constant. A maximum frequency of 0.25Hz was observed. An antagonistic actuator model based on the hybrid SMA model predicted reasonably well the displacement-time results.
Silicon nitride microbridges (50x50 mm<sup>2</sup>, 0.6 mm thick), suspended over a silicon substrate, were patterned and thinned. These patterns consist of 2 to 12 windows that were thinned to approximately 0.3 mm. Microbolometers were fabricated by sputtering a YBaCuO thin film over the bridges. The experimental results showed that the regionally thinned microbridges have a lower thermal time constants t (about 1.6 ms) than that of the standard pixel configuration (2.6 ms). On the other hand, the fact that the regionally thinned microbolometers having detectivity D* values comparable to or even six times superior than that of the standard pixel showed that the decrease in response time is not penalized by loss of detection performance. The simulation results also show that as the amount of material removed is increased, the thermal time constant drops significantly while the (τ/G)<sup>1/2</sup> ratio (where G is the thermal conductance of the pixel) only decreases slightly, suggesting that the reduced response time will not cause a significant drop in detectivity D*. The simulation results of mechanical integrity show that a specific regionally thinned microbridge design has 22 % higher stiffness than that of a standard pixel design with similar thermal properties. The fact that thick regions remained on the regionally thinned pixels (like the edges of the pixels) provide significant mechanical support to the microstructures. This confirms the validity of the regionally thinned microbridges approach.
A substantial reduction in the size of control actuation systems employed in today's aerospace vehicles can enhance overall vehicle performance by reducing envelope volume requirements and inert weight. Functional materials such as shape memory alloys (SMA's) offer the opportunity to create compact, solid-state actuation systems by virtue of the material's ability to convert electrical energy to thermal energy to mechanical energy within its microstructure. A hybrid micro-macro-mechanical SMA model is developed for future closed-loop actuator development studies. The constitutive model is a combination of concepts originally presented by Likhatchev for microstructural modeling and Brinson for modeling of transformation kinetics. Global strain of the heterogeneous solid or polycrystal, where the grains are assumed to be randomly oriented, was calculated by averaging the elastic, thermal, stress-induced and autoaccomodation strains of each grain over the total material volume. The introduction of a frequency distribution function in the micromechanical model provided a convenient way to quantify texture. The model was successfully tested under constant temperature conditions and constant load-low frequency cycling conditions.