The Rare-Earth Laves phases RE-Fe2 (RE represent the Rare-Earth) show large magnetostrictive properties, especially at room temperature. These materials are well characterized when in bulk form, but they have rarely been studied as thin films and one can expect some important effects due to epitaxial growth.
A few single crystal layers of RE-Fe2 have been studied (YFe2, TbFe2, DyFe2, ErFe2: and Dy0.7Tb0.3Fe2 known as Terfenol-D). The thickness of these different layers are between 5 and 20 nm and with  as a growth direction have been epitaxied. They have been deposited with a Molecular Beam Epitaxy (MBE) in an ultra high vacuum chamber. A  sapphire substrate is recovered by a  niobium buffer. The RE and the iron are then co-deposited on the substrate which is maintained at 500°C. Lastly, an Yttrium layer is deposited on the Rare Earth material at a temperature close to ambient.