Solid-state amorphization of Cu nanolayers embedded in a Cu64Zr36 glass

T Brink and D Sopu and K Albe, PHYSICAL REVIEW B, 91, 184103 (2015).

DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevB.91.184103

Solid-state amorphization of crystalline copper nanolayers embedded in a Cu64Zr36 metallic glass is studied by molecular dynamics simulations for different orientations of the crystalline layer. We show that solid- state amorphization is driven by a reduction of interface energy, which compensates the bulk excess energy of the amorphous nanolayer with respect to the crystalline phase up to a critical layer thickness. A simple thermodynamic model is derived, which describes the simulation results in terms of orientation-dependent interface energies. Detailed analysis reveals the structure of the amorphous nanolayer and allows a comparison to a quenched copper melt, providing further insights into the origin of excess and interface energy.

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