Structural crossover in a supercooled metallic liquid and the link to a liquid-to-liquid phase transition

S Lan and M Blodgett and KF Kelton and JL Ma and J Fan and XL Wang, APPLIED PHYSICS LETTERS, 108, 211907 (2016).

DOI: 10.1063/1.4952724

Time-resolved synchrotron measurements were carried out to capture the structure evolution of an electrostatically levitated metallic-glass- forming liquid during free cooling. The experimental data shows a crossover in the liquid structure at similar to 1000 K, about 115K below the melting temperature and 150K above the crystallization temperature. The structure change is characterized by a dramatic growth in the extended-range order below the crossover temperature. Molecular dynamics simulations have identified that the growth of the extended-range order was due to an increased correlation between solute atoms. These results provide structural evidence for a liquid-to-liquid-phase-transition in the supercooled metallic liquid. Published by AIP Publishing.

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