Correlation between Local Structure Order and Spatial Heterogeneity in a Metallic Glass

F Zhu and A Hirata and P Liu and SX Song and Y Tian and JH Han and T Fujita and MW Chen, PHYSICAL REVIEW LETTERS, 119, 215501 (2017).

DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.119.215501

Although nanoscale spatial heterogeneity of metallic glasses has been demonstrated by extensive experimental and theoretical investigations, the nature of spatial heterogeneity remains poorly known owing to the absence of a structural depiction of the inhomogeneity from experimental insight. Here we report the experimental characterization of the spatial heterogeneity of a metallic glass by utilizing state-of-the-art angstrom-beam electron diffraction and scanning transmission electron microscopy. The subnanoscale electron diffraction reveals that the nanoscale spatial heterogeneity and corresponding density fluctuation have a close correlation with the local structure variation from icosahedronlike to tetragonal crystal-like order. The structural insights of spatial heterogeneity have important implications in understanding the properties and dynamics of metallic glasses.

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