Publication Date

Summer 2018

Advisor(s) - Committee Chair

Ali Oguz Er (Director), Doug Harper, and Muhammad Sajjad

Degree Program

Department of Physics and Astronomy

Degree Type

Master of Science


Shape memory alloys (SMAs) are a unique class of smart materials exhibiting extraordinary properties with a wide range of applications in engineering, biomedical, and aerospace technologies. In this study, an advanced, efficient, low-cost, and highly scalable laser-assisted imprinting method with low environmental impact to create thermally controllable surface patterns is reported. Two different imprinting methods were carried out mainly on Ni50Ti50 (at. %) SMAs by using a nanosecond pulsed Nd:YAG laser operating at 1064 nm wavelength and 10 Hz frequency. First, laser pulses at selected fluences were directly focused on the NiTi surface, which generated pressure pulses of up to a few gigapascal (GPa), and thus created micro-indents. Second, a suitable transparent overlay serving as a confining medium, a sacrificial layer, and a mesh grid was placed on the NiTi sample, whereafter the laser was focused through the confinement medium, ablating the sacrificial layer to create plasma and pressure, and thus pushing and transferring the grid pattern onto the sample. Scanning electron microscope (SEM) and laser profiler images show that surface patterns with tailorable sizes and high fidelity could be obtained. The depth of the patterns was shown to increase and later level off with the increase in laser power and irradiation time. Upon heating, the depth profile of the imprinted SMA surfaces changed where the maximum depth recovery ratio of 30 % was observed. Recovery ratio decreased and saturated at about 15 % when the number of pulses were increased. A numerical simulation of the laser irradiation process was performed showing that considerably high pressure and temperature could be generated depending on the laser fluence. The stress wave closely followed the rise time of the laser pulse to its peak value and followed by the rapid attenuation and dispersion of the stress through the sample.


Condensed Matter Physics | Engineering Physics | Optics | Plasma and Beam Physics