A role of Cu on the nanocrystallization of an Fe85.2Si 1B9P4Cu0.8 alloy was investigated by X-ray absorption fine structure (XAFS) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). The Cu K-edge XAFS results show that local structure around Cu is disordered for the as-quenched sample whereas it changes to fcc-like structure at 613 K. The fcc Cu-clusters are, however, thermodynamically unstable and begin to transform into bcc structure at 638 K. An explicit bcc structure is observed for the sample annealed at 693 K for 600 s in which TEM observation shows that precipitated bcc-Fe crystallites with ∼12 nm are homogeneously distributed. The bcc structure of the Cu-clusters transforms into the fcc-type again at 973 K, which can be explained by the TEM observations; Cu segregates at grain boundaries between bcc-Fe crystallites and Fe3(B,P) compounds. Combining the XAFS results with the TEM observations, the structure transition of the Cu-clusters from fcc to bcc is highly correlated with the preliminary precipitation of the bcc-Fe which takes place prior to the onset of the first crystallization temperature, Tx1 = 707 K. Thermodynamic analysis suggests that an interfacial energy density γ between an fcc-Cu cluster and bcc-Fe matrix dominates at a certain case over the structural energy between fcc and bcc Cu, ΔGfcc - bcc, which causes phase transition of the Cu clusters from fcc to bcc structure.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy(all)