Stability of supercooled liquid and transformation behavior in Zr-based glassy alloys

Junji Saida, Mitsuhide Matsushita, Akihisa Inoue

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Citations (Scopus)


We investigated the stability of the supercooled liquid in Zr-based glassy alloys by examination of their transformation behavior. The primary phase is an fcc Zr2Ni phase in a Zr65Al7.5Ni10Cu17.5 glassy alloy with high glass-forming ability (GFA). By substitution of Ag, Pd, Au or Pt for only 1 at%Cu, an icosahedral quasicrystalline phase (I-phase) precipitates with the fcc Zr2Ni phase. The primary phase changes to the single I-phase at higher noble metal contents. It is further found that the I-phase precipitates by a small amount of substitution for Cu with other elements as well as the noble metals, which have a weak or positive chemical affinity with one of the constitutional elements in the Zr-Al-Ni-Cu glassy alloy. Thus, the slight deviation from the three component roles for high GFA is effective for the I-phase formation. The I-phase is also formed as a primary phase in the Zr65+yAl7.5Ni10Cu17.5-y (y = 1-7) glassy alloys. A slight change in the composition has the similar effect as the addition of element such as noble metals and so on. An icosahedron is contained as a structure unit in the fcc Zr2Ni and I-phases and hence the glassy structure is correlated with the local icosahedral atomic configuration. The high-resolution transmission electron microscopy image of the Zr70Al7.5Ni10Cu12.5 glassy alloy reveals a possibility of the existence of the icosahedral ordered regions. It is therefore, concluded that the icosahedral short- or medium-range order exists in the supercooled liquid as well as in the glassy phase and it stabilizes the supercooled liquid state in the Zr-based alloys. An I-phase also precipitates as a primary phase by substituting Pd, Au or Pt for only 1 at%Cu in the Zr70Cu30 glassy alloy. From these results, the appearance of the supercooled liquid region is attributed to the existence of the icosahedral atomic configuration consisting of Zr and Cu.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1937-1946
Number of pages10
JournalMaterials Transactions
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2002 Aug
Externally publishedYes


  • Icosahedral phase
  • Metastable phase
  • Supercooled liquid state
  • Transformation
  • Zirconium-based glassy alloy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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