Glass Transition by Gelation in a Phase Separating Binary Alloy

RE Baumer and MJ Demkowicz, PHYSICAL REVIEW LETTERS, 110, 145502 (2013).

DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.110.145502

We use molecular dynamics simulations to show that glass transition in a model phase separating amorphous alloy, Cu50Nb50, occurs by gelation. At the glass transition, a mechanically stiff, percolating network of atoms with icosahedral local packing forms at the interfaces between compositionally enriched regions. This low-energy network halts coarsening of the phase-separated structure and imparts shear resistance. These features of glass transition are remarkably similar to gelation processes in polymeric and colloidal gels. DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.110.145502

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