Mechanism of abnormally slow crystal growth of CuZr alloy

XQ Yan and YJ Lu, JOURNAL OF CHEMICAL PHYSICS, 143, 164503 (2015).

DOI: 10.1063/1.4934227

Crystal growth of the glass-forming CuZr alloy is shown to be abnormally slow, which suggests a new method to identify the good glass-forming alloys. The crystal growth of elemental Cu, Pd and binary NiAl, CuZr alloys is systematically studied with the aid of molecular dynamics simulations. The temperature dependence of the growth velocity indicates the different growth mechanisms between the elemental and the alloy systems. The high-speed growth featuring the elemental metals is dominated by the non-activated collision between liquid-like atoms and interface, and the low-speed growth for NiAl and CuZr is determined by the diffusion across the interface. We find that, in contrast to Cu, Pd, and NiAl, a strong stress layering arisen from the density and the local order layering forms in front of the liquid-crystal interface of CuZr alloy, which causes a slow diffusion zone. The formation of the slow diffusion zone suppresses the interface moving, resulting in much small growth velocity of CuZr alloy. We provide a direct evidence of this explanation by applying the compressive stress normal to the interface. The compression is shown to boost the stress layering in CuZr significantly, correspondingly enhancing the slow diffusion zone, and eventually slowing down the crystal growth of CuZr alloy immediately. In contrast, the growth of Cu, Pd, and NiAl is increased by the compression because the low diffusion zones in them are never well developed. (C) 2015 AIP Publishing LLC.

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