A medium-range structure motif linking amorphous and crystalline states

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

4 Scopus Citations
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Author(s)

  • Si Lan
  • Li Zhu
  • Zhenduo Wu
  • Lin Gu
  • Qinghua Zhang
  • Huihui Kong
  • Jizi Liu
  • Ruoyu Song
  • Sinan Liu
  • Gang Sha
  • Yingang Wang
  • Wei Liu
  • Peiyi Wang

Detail(s)

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1347–1352
Journal / PublicationNature Materials
Volume20
Issue number10
Online published20 May 2021
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2021

Abstract

Amorphous materials have no long-range order, but there are ordered structures at short range (2–5 Å), medium range (5–20 Å) and even longer length scales. While regular and semiregular polyhedra are often found as short-range ordering in amorphous materials, the nature of medium-range order has remained elusive. Consequently, it is difficult to determine whether there exists any structural link at medium range or longer length scales between the amorphous material and its crystalline counterparts. Moreover, an amorphous material often crystallizes into a phase of different composition, with very different underlying structural building blocks, further compounding the issue. Here, we capture an intermediate crystalline cubic phase in a Pd-Ni-P amorphous alloy and reveal the structure of the medium-range order, a six-membered tricapped trigonal prism cluster (6M-TTP) with a length scale of 12.5 Å. We find that the 6M-TTP can pack periodically to several tens of nanometres to form the cube phase. Our experimental observations provide evidence of a structural link between the amorphous and crystalline phases in a Pd-Ni-P alloy at the medium-range length scale and suggest that it is the connectivity of the 6M-TTP clusters that distinguishes the crystalline and amorphous phases. These findings will shed light on the structure of amorphous materials at extended length scales beyond that of short-range order.

Citation Format(s)

A medium-range structure motif linking amorphous and crystalline states. / Lan, Si; Zhu, Li; Wu, Zhenduo; Gu, Lin; Zhang, Qinghua; Kong, Huihui; Liu, Jizi; Song, Ruoyu; Liu, Sinan; Sha, Gang; Wang, Yingang; Liu, Qi; Liu, Wei; Wang, Peiyi; Liu, Chain-Tsuan; Ren, Yang; Wang, Xun-Li.

In: Nature Materials, Vol. 20, No. 10, 10.2021, p. 1347–1352.

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review