Size effect on dynamics and glass transition in metallic liquids and glasses

YZ Li and YT Sun and Z Lu and MZ Li and HY Bai and WH Wang, JOURNAL OF CHEMICAL PHYSICS, 146, 224502 (2017).

DOI: 10.1063/1.4984977

The relaxation dynamics and glass transition in finite-sized metallic liquid droplets were investigated via molecular dynamic simulations in model monoatomic Ta and binary Cu50Zr50 metallic liquids. We find that the droplet size has a significant impact on liquid dynamics and glass transition. Glass transition temperature and structural relaxation time exhibit strong size dependence and decrease drastically as the droplet is smaller than a certain size. It is revealed that this results from a liquid-like surface layer (similar to 1 nm thick) of droplets, in which the dynamics is much faster than the interior of droplets. A proposed scaling relationship can well describe the size dependent behavior of the glass transition temperature in metallic liquid droplets. These findings provide insight into the dynamics of metallic liquid droplets and plausible understanding of recent novel experimental observations. Apart from temperature and pressure, size may be another important parameter for potentially tuning the properties of metallic liquids and glasses in nanometer scale. Published by AIP Publishing.

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