An apparatus comprising a shape memory alloy is configured as a ring shaped sample holder for a transmission electron microscope and imparts uniform biaxial strain on a thin film mounted within. The sample holder responds to a change in temperature by changing the inner diameter, which imparts biaxial strain. In other embodiments, the sample holder is configured to change the inner diameter and change the strain on a thin film reversibly and repeatedly. In further embodiments, the sample holder is non circular. In still further embodiments, the apparatus is configured as a prime mover of a reversible radial actuator. Methods for making and using the apparatus are included in other embodiments.
STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT
This invention was made with Government support under Grant No. DE-AC03-76SF00098, awarded by the Department of Energy. The Government has certain rights in this invention.