How can a minor element added to a binary amorphous alloy simultaneously improve the plasticity and glass-forming ability?

Hong Kyu Kim, Mirim Lee, Kwang Ryeol Lee, Jae Chul Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

62 Citations (Scopus)


Minor elements, when added to binary amorphous alloys in small percentages, can often lead to significant improvements in both the plasticity and glass-forming ability (GFA) of the alloys. Considering that plasticity and GFA are two contrasting properties dependent on short-range orders (SROs) of differing degrees, this experimental observation at first seems paradoxical when considered from an SRO viewpoint. In this study, comparative studies on amorphous alloys Cu50Zr50 and Cu47.5Zr 47.5Al5 were performed using experiments and simulations to elucidate how these two apparently mutually exclusive properties can be realized at the same time. Using molecular dynamics simulations, we resolved the local structures of Cu50Zr50 and Cu47.5Zr 47.5Al5 in terms of icosahedral medium-range orders. In addition, the role of the minor element (Al) on the formation of the icosahedra and their medium-range structures during cooling, as well as their disordering behavior during subsequent plastic relaxation, was clarified.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6597-6608
Number of pages12
JournalActa Materialia
Issue number17
Publication statusPublished - 2013 Oct

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
J.C. is grateful to Professor E. Ma at The Johns Hopkins University and Dr. Y.Q. Cheng at Oak Ridge National Laboratory for the valuable discussion and advice made throughout the present study conducted during his sabbatical leave in 2011. The major part of the present computation was carried out using the Grand Cluster Supercomputer at KIST. This work was supported by the Mid-career Researcher Program through an NRF (Grant No. 2009-0081023 ) funded by the MEST, Republic of Korea.


  • Amorphous alloy
  • Mechanical properties
  • Medium-range order
  • Molecular dynamics
  • Short-range order

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Metals and Alloys


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