Strain modulation during a two-way shape memory effect (TWSME) in a sputtered nitinol NiTi is used to reliably induce and switch by 90° a uniaxial magnetic anisotropy of a 20 nm thick Ni film during the thermal cycle from 300 K to 400 K. NiTi strain and its distribution are carefully measured by digital image correlation during tensile prestrain and subsequent temperature cycles in order to compare with Ni strain extracted from the magnetometry measurement and from transmission electron microscopy. In a NiTi/Ni bilayer, a variation of 2.7% strain in NiTi during the TWSME generates 1.3% strain in Ni, which results in a transition from −2 × 104 J/m3 in-plane magnetic anisotropy to +1 × 105 J/m3. Such a composite system offers a way to timely ease writability while maintaining high thermal stability at rest in magnetic media.

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