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SJTU Team Achieves Breakthroughs in Spatial Heterogeneity of Metallic Glass

November 23, 2017      Author: Zheng Mengyan

Recently, led by Professor Chen Mingwei from School of Material Science and Engineering, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, a research team achieves breakthroughs in spatial heterogeneity of metallic glass. The team clarified the origin of spatial heterogeneity of amorphous system, and provided important scientific enlightenment for core scientific problems such as glass transformation and amorphous transformation mechanism. The thesis Correlation between local structure order and spatial heterogeneity in a metallic glass (DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.119.215501) is published on the prestige journal in Physics Physical Review Letters with SJTU as the First Affiliation. The authors are Doctor Zhu Fan and Special Researcher Liu Pan from Frontier Research Center for Material Science.

Although nanoscale spatial heterogeneity of metallic glasses has been demonstrated by extensive experimental and theoretical investigations, the nature of spatial heterogeneity remains poorly known owing to the absence of a structural depiction of the inhomogeneity from experimental insight. Here we report the experimental characterization of the spatial heterogeneity of a metallic glass by utilizing state-of-the-art angstrom-beam electron diffraction and scanning transmission electron microscopy. The subnanoscale electron diffraction reveals that the nanoscale spatial heterogeneity and corresponding density fluctuation have a close correlation with the local structure variation from icosahedronlike to tetragonal crystal-like order. The structural insights of spatial heterogeneity have important implications in understanding the properties and dynamics of metallic glasses.