Substantially enhanced plasticity of bulk metallic glasses by densifying local atomic packing

Wu, Y. and Cao, D. and Yao, Y. and Zhang, G. and Wang, J. and Liu, L. and Li, F. and Fan, H. and Liu, X. and Wang, H. and Wang, X. and Zhu, H. and Jiang, S. and Kontis, P. and Raabe, D. and Gault, B. and Lu, Z.

Volume: 12 Pages:
DOI: 10.1038/s41467-021-26858-9
Published: 2021

Introducing regions of looser atomic packing in bulk metallic glasses (BMGs) was reported to facilitate plastic deformation, rendering BMGs more ductile at room temperature. Here, we present a different alloy design approach, namely, doping the nonmetallic elements to form densely packed motifs. The enhanced structural fluctuations in Ti-, Zr- and Cu-based BMG systems leads to improved strength and renders these solutes’ atomic neighborhoods more prone to plastic deformation at an increased critical stress. As a result, we simultaneously increased the compressive plasticity (from ∼8% to unfractured), strength (from ∼1725 to 1925 MPa) and toughness (from 87 ± 10 to 165 ± 15 MPa√m), as exemplarily demonstrated for the Zr20Cu20Hf20Ti20Ni20 BMG. Our study advances the understanding of the atomic-scale origin of structure-property relationships in amorphous solids and provides a new strategy for ductilizing BMG without sacrificing strength. © 2021, The Author(s).

« back