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Published June 24, 2014 | Published + Supplemental Material
Journal Article Open

Compositional landscape for glass formation in metal alloys


A high-resolution compositional map of glass-forming ability (GFA) in the Ni–Cr–Nb–P–B system is experimentally determined along various compositional planes. GFA is shown to be a piecewise continuous function formed by intersecting compositional subsurfaces, each associated with a nucleation pathway for a specific crystalline phase. Within each subsurface, GFA varies exponentially with composition, wheres exponential cusps in GFA are observed when crossing from one crystallization pathway to another. The overall GFA is shown to peak at multiple exponential hypercusps that are interconnected by ridges. At these compositions, quenching from the high-temperature melt yields glassy rods with diameters exceeding 1 cm, whereas for compositions far from these cusps the critical rod diameter drops precipitously and levels off to 1 to 2 mm. The compositional landscape of GFA is shown to arise primarily from an interplay between the thermodynamics and kinetics of crystal nucleation, or more precisely, from a competition between driving force for crystallization and liquid fragility.

Additional Information

© 2014 National Academy of Sciences. Contributed by William L. Johnson, May 13, 2014 (sent for review March 7, 2014). Published online before print June 9, 2014. Author contributions: J.H.N., M.D.D., and W.L.J. designed research; J.H.N., M.F., A.H., and G.R.G. performed research; J.H.N., M.D.D., A.H., G.R.G., and W.L.J. analyzed data; and J.H.N., M.D.D., and W.L.J. wrote the paper. The authors declare no conflict of interest. This article contains supporting information online at www.pnas.org/lookup/suppl/doi:10.1073/pnas.1407780111/-/DCSupplemental.

Attached Files

Published - PNAS-2014-Na-9031-6.pdf

Supplemental Material - PNAS-2014-Na-1407780111_si.pdf


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