A method was developed for the deposition and annealing of Ni-alloy layers to obtain a low-stress film required for high cycle wafer probe applications. Ni-alloy layers with uniform compositions from 0.145 to 0.357 wt.% of Mn were electrodeposited. A high strength alloy with good ductility was produced using pulsed plating with a low internal stress level of 14 MPa. In addition, a method was developed to produce a modulated composition of Mn in Ni layers from a single bath to further improve the mechanical properties of the deposits. Multilayer NiMn layers with a composition of 0.4, 0.1, and 0.6 wt.% of Mn were produced. The microstructures showed mostly microcrystalline grains with shear band structures and finer grains with a lamellar structure were observed for higher Mn contents. (C) 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.