Crystal-Like Rearrangements of Icosahedra in Simulated Copper-Zirconium Metallic Glasses and their Effect on Mechanical Properties

J Zemp and M Celino and B Schonfeld and JF Loffler, PHYSICAL REVIEW LETTERS, 115, 165501 (2015).

DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.115.165501

Indications of the Cu2Zr Laves phase are observed in MD simulations of amorphous Cu64Zr36 upon isothermal holding just above the glass transition temperature. The structural evolution towards Cu2Zr is accompanied by an increase in the fraction of Cu-centered icosahedra, which demonstrates that a large icosahedral fraction does not just indicate structural relaxation. The crystal-like regions generate an increase in strength and Young's modulus, and a stronger localized shear band. A universal relation between the fraction of full icosahedra and their interconnectivity is found, and both can be modified simultaneously via changes of temperature or strain.

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