Impact of medium-range order on the glass transition in liquid Ni-Si alloys

YJ Lu and P Entel, PHYSICAL REVIEW B, 84, 104203 (2011).

DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevB.84.104203

We study the thermophysical properties and structure of liquid Ni-Si alloys using molecular dynamics simulations. The liquid Ni-5% and 10% Si alloys crystallize to form the face-centered cubic (Ni) at 900 and 850 K, respectively, and the glass transitions take place in Ni-20% and 25% Si alloys at about 700 K. The temperature-dependent self-diffusion coefficients and viscosities exhibit more pronounced non-Arrhenius behavior with the increase of Si content before phase transitions, indicating the enhanced glass-forming ability. These appearances of thermodynamic properties and phase transitions are found to closely relate to the medium-range order clusters with the defective face- centered cubic structure characterized by both local translational and orientational order. This locally ordered structure tends to be destroyed by the addition of more Si atoms, resulting in a delay of nucleation and even glass transition instead.

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