Structural inhomogeneity and anelastic deformation in metallic glasses revealed by spherical nanoindentation

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Original languageEnglish
Article number261905
Journal / PublicationApplied Physics Letters
Issue number26
Publication statusPublished - 27 Dec 2010
Externally publishedYes


In this letter, the anelastic deformation of a Zr-based metallic glass (MG) at ambient temperature is revealed through spherical nanoindentation. A general rheological model, which is linked with the atomic structure of MGs, is proposed to explain the observed anelasticity. The experimental and theoretical results clearly indicate the existence of structural inhomogeneity intrinsic to MGs, which causes the anelastic deformation upon mechanical loading under high loading rates before shear banding. The outcome of the current research provides an important insight into the property-structure relation of MGs. © 2010 American Institute of Physics.