Atomic force microscope (AFM) makes it possible to image the surface morphological evolutions of the Zr50 Cu40 Al10 bulk metallic glass (BMG). The heating in vacuum leads to the creation of nanoclusters and the significant structural changes driven by viscous flow. Auger electron spectroscopy confirms that the nanoclusters correspond to zirconium oxide. Furthermore, the nanoclusters do not influence the crystallization process of the BMG but the viscous flow is crucial to surface modification. The temperature dependent AFM observation combined with chemical analysis is a new protocol to study fundamental properties of BMG surfaces.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)