Size effect on atomic structure in low-dimensional Cu-Zr amorphous systems

WB Zhang and J Liu and SH Lu and H Zhang and H Wang and XD Wang and QP Cao and DX Zhang and JZ Jiang, SCIENTIFIC REPORTS, 7, 7291 (2017).

DOI: 10.1038/s41598-017-07708-5

The size effect on atomic structure of a Cu64Zr36 amorphous system, including zero-dimensional small-size amorphous particles (SSAPs) and two-dimensional small-size amorphous films (SSAFs) together with bulk sample was investigated by molecular dynamics simulations. We revealed that sample size strongly affects local atomic structure in both Cu64Zr36 SSAPs and SSAFs, which are composed of core and shell (surface) components. Compared with core component, the shell component of SSAPs has lower average coordination number and average bond length, higher degree of ordering, and lower packing density due to the segregation of Cu atoms on the shell of Cu64Zr36 SSAPs. These atomic structure differences in SSAPs with various sizes result in different glass transition temperatures, in which the glass transition temperature for the shell component is found to be 577 K, which is much lower than 910 K for the core component. We further extended the size effect on the structure and glasses transition temperature to Cu64Zr36 SSAFs, and revealed that the Tg decreases when SSAFs becomes thinner due to the following factors: different dynamic motion (mean square displacement), different density of core and surface and Cu segregation on the surface of SSAFs. The obtained results here are different from the results for the size effect on atomic structure of nanometer-sized crystalline metallic alloys.

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