Magnetic shape memory materials hold a great promise for next‐generation actuation devices and systems for energy conversion, thanks to the intimate coupling between structure and magnetism in their martensitic phase. Here novel magnetic shape memory free‐standing nanodisks are proposed, proving that the lack of the substrate constrains enables the exploitation of new microstructure‐controlled actuation mechanisms by the combined application of different stimuli–i.e., temperature and magnetic field. The results show that a reversible areal strain (up to 5.5%) can be achieved and tuned in intensity and sign (i.e., areal contraction or expansion) by the application of a magnetic field. The mechanisms at the basis of the actuation are investigated by experiments performed at different length scales and directly visualized by several electron microscopy techniques, including electron holography, showing that thermo/magnetomechanical properties can be optimized by engineering the martensitic microstructure through epitaxial growth and lateral confinement. These findings represent a step forward toward the development of a new class of temperature‐field controlled nanoactuators and smart nanomaterials.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
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