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Published June 2000 | Published
Journal Article Open

Concentration and temperature dependence of decomposition in supercooled liquid alloys


Small-angle neutron scattering experiments were performed on the bulk amorphous alloy Zr_(41.2)Ti_(13.8)Cu_(12.5)Ni_(10)Be_(22.5) (Vit1®, subscripts indicate at.%) and on other alloys, where the (Zr,Ti) and (Cu,Be) contents were varied by following the line in composition space connecting Vit1 and Zr_(46.8)Ti_(8.2)Cu_(7.5)Ni_(10)Be_(27.5) (Vit4®). The small-angle neutron scattering data of the samples, annealed at temperatures between 603 K and 663 K, show interference peaks, giving evidence for spatially correlated arrangements of inhomogeneities. The Q values of the interference peaks, Q_(max), decrease with increasing annealing temperature Ta and, at a given annealing temperature, with composition following the connecting line from Vit1 to Vit4. Down to the glass transition temperature T_g, the data follow a relation 1/L^2 ∝ (T_s – T_a) as predicted by the linearized Cahn theory, with L = 2π /Q_(max) the characteristic wavelength of the decomposition and T_s the apparent spinodal temperature. Below T_g, a different behavior is observed, which may be either due to a change in atomic diffusion or due to an insufficient relaxation of the samples.

Additional Information

© 2000 International Union of Crystallography. The authors acknowledge the assistance of Ed Lang while running the SANS experiment. This work was supported by the U.S. Department of Energy (Grant No. DEFG-03-86ER45242) and benefited from the use of the Intense Pulsed Neutron Source, funded by the U. S. Department of Energy, Office of Basic Energy Sciences under contract W-31-109-ENG-38 to the University of Chicago. Partial support for J. Löffler was provided by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation via the Feodor Lynen Program.

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