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Substantial tensile ductility in sputtered Zr-Ni-Al nano-sized metallic glass

Liontas, Rachel and Jafary-Zadeh, Mehdi and Zeng, Qiaoshi and Zhang, Yong-Wei and Mao, Wendy L. and Greer, Julia R. (2016) Substantial tensile ductility in sputtered Zr-Ni-Al nano-sized metallic glass. Acta Materialia, 118 . pp. 270-285. ISSN 1359-6454.

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We investigate the mechanical behavior and atomic-level structure of glassy Zr-Ni-Al nano-tensile specimens with widths between 75 and 215 nm. We focus our studies on two different energy states: (1) as-sputtered and (2) sputtered then annealed below the glass transition temperature (T_g). In-situ tensile experiments conducted inside a scanning electron microscope (SEM) reveal substantial tensile ductility in some cases reaching >10% engineering plastic strains, >150% true plastic strains, and necking down to a point during tensile straining in specimens as wide as ∼150 nm. We found the extent of ductility depends on both the specimen size and the annealing conditions. Using molecular dynamics (MD) simulations, transmission electron microscopy (TEM), and synchrotron x-ray diffraction (XRD), we explain the observed mechanical behavior through changes in free volume as well as short- and medium-range atomic-level order that occur upon annealing. This work demonstrates the importance of carefully choosing the metallic glass fabrication method and post-processing conditions for achieving a certain atomic-level structure and free volume within the metallic glass, which then determine the overall mechanical response. An important implication is that sputter deposition may be a particularly promising technique for producing thin coatings of metallic glasses with significant ductility, due to the high level of disorder and excess free volume resulting from the sputtering process and to the suitability of sputtering for producing thin coatings that may exhibit enhanced size-induced ductility.

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Greer, Julia R.0000-0002-9675-1508
Additional Information:© 2016 Acta Materialia Inc. Published by Elsevier Ltd. Received 5 February 2016; Received in revised form 25 July 2016; Accepted 25 July 2016; Available online 4 August 2016. The authors gratefully acknowledge financial support from the National Science Foundation through R.L.’s Graduate Research Fellowship under grant DGE-1144469, the U.S. Department of Energy through J.R.G.’s Early Career Research Program under grant DE-SC0006599, NASA's Space Technology Research Grants Program through J.R.G.’s Early Career Faculty Grant under grant NNX12AQ49G, and the National Academies Keck Futures Initiative under grant NAKFI ANT1. The authors thank Jonathan Thompson for help with annealing using the Carbolite tube furnace in the Lewis Group at Caltech, David Chen for helpful discussions, and the Atwater Group at Caltech for use of the sputter deposition system. The authors also thank the Kavli Nanoscience Institute (KNI) at Caltech for support and availability of cleanroom facilities. The authors also gratefully acknowledge the financial support from the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), Singapore and the use of computing resources at the A*STAR Computational Resource Center, Singapore. M.J.Z. would like to thank Dr. R. Tavakoli for valuable discussion and Prof. H.W. Sheng for his valuable help and providing the required EAM potential. Q. Z. would like to thank and Hongbo Lou, Fei Zhang and Yang Ren for help with synchrotron x-ray diffraction experiments and acknowledge the financial support from the DOE-BES X-ray Scattering Core Program under grant number DE-FG02-99ER45775 and from the National Natural Science Foundation of China under grant number U1530402.
Group:Kavli Nanoscience Institute
Funding AgencyGrant Number
NSF Graduate Research FellowshipDGE-1144469
Department of Energy (DOE)DE-SC0006599
National Academies Keck Futures InitiativeUNSPECIFIED
Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR)UNSPECIFIED
Department of Energy (DOE)DE-FG02-99ER45775
National Natural Science Foundation of ChinaU1530402
Subject Keywords:Metallic glass; Ductility; In situ tension test; Molecular dynamics; Synchrotron XRD
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20160815-090908420
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Official Citation:Rachel Liontas, Mehdi Jafary-Zadeh, Qiaoshi Zeng, Yong-Wei Zhang, Wendy L. Mao, Julia R. Greer, Substantial tensile ductility in sputtered Zr-Ni-Al nano-sized metallic glass, Acta Materialia, Volume 118, 1 October 2016, Pages 270-285, ISSN 1359-6454, (
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:69619
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:15 Aug 2016 16:28
Last Modified:03 Oct 2019 10:24

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