The effect of the various cathode potentials applied in continuous and pulse waveforms on magnetic anisotropy of NiFe alloy films grown on (100) textured polycrystalline copper substrates has been studied. Magnetic measurements obtained by a vibrating sample magnetometer (VSM) showed that the magnetic anisotropy of the films is very sensitive to the cathode potentials and the type of the potentials applied during deposition. It was found that the easy axis of all films is in the film plane. The magnetic findings also indicated that the NiFe films deposited at the cathode potentials of - 1.2 and - 1.5 V applied in the continuous waveforms, but except for the films deposited at the cathode potential of - 1.8 V, are anisotropic, while those produced at the cathode potentials applied in the pulse waveform show an isotropic magnetic behaviour. Utilising the magnetic properties of the films may offer the potential for the development of a new range of stress sensors. (c) 2005 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.