Three-dimensional distribution of solute elements in an Mg–Zn–Gd alloy during ageing process is quantitatively characterized by three-dimensional atom probe (3DAP) tomography. Based on the radius distribution function, it is found that Zn–Gd solute pairs in Mg matrix appear mainly at two peaks at early stage of ageing, and the separation distance between Zn and Gd atoms could be well rationalized by the first-principle calculation. Moreover, the fraction of Zn–Gd solute pairs increases first and then decreases due to the precipitation of long-period stacking ordered (LPSO) structures. Both the composition of the structural unit in LPSO structure and the solute enrichment around it are quantified. It is found that Zn and Gd elements are synchronized in the LPSO structure, and solute segregation of pure Zn or Gd is not observed at the transformation front of the LPSO structure in this alloy. In addition, the crystallography of transformation front is further determined by 3DAP data.
- Atomic cluster
- Long-period stacking ordered (LPSO)
- Magnesium alloy
- Three-dimensional atom probe (3DAP)
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Metals and Alloys
- Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering