Anomalous structural evolution and liquid fragility signatures in Cu-Zr and Cu-Hf liquids and glasses

NA Mauro and AJ Vogt and ML Johnson and JC Bendert and R Soklaski and L Yang and KF Kelton, ACTA MATERIALIA, 61, 7411-7421 (2013).

DOI: 10.1016/j.actamat.2013.08.047

The results of high energy X-ray scattering studies of equilibrium and supercooled Cu100-xZrx (x = 46 and 54) and CuxHf100-x (x = 55 and 60.8) liquids and the corresponding glasses are presented. The liquid data were obtained in a containerless environment using the beamline electrostatic levitation (BESL) technique. The total structure factor and total pair correlation functions were measured as a function of temperature for the liquids, and for the glasses at room temperature. A developing asymmetry in the peak of the first coordination shell in the total pair correlation function suggests chemical ordering in the liquids with cooling. This asymmetry takes the form of two prominent peaks, suggesting two prominent ordering length scales. When the magnitudes of these peaks are extrapolated to the glass transition temperature a discontinuity is observed, indicating that an abrupt increase in the magnitude is required to match the observed peak heights in the glass. This suggests that the structure of the supercooled liquid orders more rapidly near the glass transition temperature, a conclusion that is supported by molecular dynamics simulations. This observed structural evolution of the liquid indicates that the concept of fragility, typically defined from the behavior of viscosity with temperature, has a measurable structural signature as well, which can be observed in X-ray diffraction studies. (C) 2013 Acta Materialia Inc. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Return to Publications page