We investigate the stresses in thin films with sub-millimeter lateral spatial resolution using a dense array of prefabricated cantilever beams prepared by microelectromechanical-system techniques. Stress induced deflection of the cantilever is interrogated by an optical (laser/position sensitive detector) measurement system. Composition spread films are deposited on the cantilever array using a three gun on-axis magnetron cosputtering system. The position dependent composition is inferred using rate calibrations and verified by electron microprobe/energy dispersive spectroscopy. We demonstrate the function of this system using an Fe–Ni–Al composition spread with 1at.% resolution. This approach allows for measurement of the composition dependence of other electromechanical properties such as the martensitic phase transition temperature of traditional and ferromagnetic shape-memory alloys, as well as the properties of hydrogen storage materials and the magnetic response of magnetostrictive materials.

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