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Published January 20, 2016 | Supplemental Material + Published
Journal Article Open

Quantifying the origin of metallic glass formation


The waiting time to form a crystal in a unit volume of homogeneous undercooled liquid exhibits a pronounced minimum τ_X* at a 'nose temperature' T* located between the glass transition temperature T_g, and the crystal melting temperature, T_L. Turnbull argued that τ_X* should increase rapidly with the dimensionless ratio t_(rg)=T_g/T_L. Angell introduced a dimensionless 'fragility parameter', m, to characterize the fall of atomic mobility with temperature above T_g. Both t_(rg) and m are widely thought to play a significant role in determining τ_X*. Here we survey and assess reported data for T_L, T_g, t_(rg), m and τ_X* for a broad range of metallic glasses with widely varying τ_X*. By analysing this database, we derive a simple empirical expression for τ_X*(t_(rg), m) that depends exponentially on t_(rg) and m, and two fitting parameters. A statistical analysis shows that knowledge of t_(rg) and m alone is therefore sufficient to predict τ_X* within estimated experimental errors. Surprisingly, the liquid/crystal interfacial free energy does not appear in this expression for τ_X*.

Additional Information

© 2016 Nature Publishing Group. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in the credit line; if the material is not included under the Creative Commons license, users will need to obtain permission from the license holder to reproduce the material. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/ Received 17 July 2015; Accepted 29 November 2015; Published 20 January 2016. W.L.J. and M.D.D. acknowledge Glassimetal Technology, Inc., for financial support of portions of this research activity carried out at Caltech. Author contributions: W.L.J. participated in compiling the database and in carrying out analysis of the data. W.L.J. wrote the manuscript. J.H.N. and M.D.D. both participated in compiling the database, analysing the data and editing of the manuscript. Competing financial interests: All the authors have an ownership interest in Glassimetal Technology, Inc.

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