"Polyamorphism in a solute-lean Al–Ce metallic glass"

Ziliang Yin: Hongbo Lou, Hongwei Sheng, Zhidan Zeng, Wendy L. Mao and Qiaoshi Zeng; Journal of Applied Physics, 01/12/21.

Additional Authors: Hongbo Lou, Hongwei Sheng, Zhidan Zeng, Wendy L. Mao and Qiaoshi Zeng


Polyamorphism discovered in lanthanide-rich metallic glasses (MGs) has been attributed to the electronic transition of the lanthanide element as a solvent element. In this work, we report that pressure-induced polyamorphism still exists in a Ce-poor Al93Ce7 binary MG where the 4f electron element serves as a solute and solute–solute avoidance is expected. The polyamorphic transition, observed by in situ high-pressure synchrotron x-ray diffraction, is accompanied by a volume collapse of ∼0.78% and occurs over a narrow pressure range from ∼0.8 to ∼1.8 GPa. Further synchrotron Ce L3-edge x-ray absorption spectroscopy measurements reveal that pressure-induced 4f electron delocalization underlies the polyamorphic transition. Molecular dynamics simulations confirm that the Ce atoms in the MG are completely isolated by the solvent Al atoms. This result demonstrates that 4f element-bearing alloys with extremely dilute concentrations can also exhibit polyamorphic states originating from electronic transitions, extending the compositional space of polyamorphism of MGs into very dilute regions. Our work suggests that tunable properties under compressive stress could be achieved in MGs by even minor doping of elements prone to electronic transitions.