We show that 30 keV Ar cluster ion bombardment of Ni52.5Nb 10Zr15Ti15Pt7.5 metallic glass (MG) can remove surface mountain-like features and reduce the root mean square surface roughness from 12 nm to 0.7 nm. X-ray diffraction analysis reveals no crystallization after cluster ion irradiation. Molecular dynamics simulations show that, although damage cascades lead to local melting, the subsequent quenching rate is a few orders of magnitude higher than the critical cooling rate for MG formation, thus the melted zone retains its amorphous nature down to room temperature. These findings can be applied to obtain ultra-smooth MGs without introducing crystallization.
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