The anomalous X-ray scattering (AXS) technique was applied to the structural analysis of a rapidly quenched Zr70Pd30 glassy alloy. The AXS analysis and subsequent reverse Monte Carlo (RMC) simulation allowed three partial pair distribution functions to be obtained, together with a three-dimensional structural model. A Voronoi polyhedral analysis of the nearest neighbour region confirms the overall preference of an icosahedral-like local structural unit. An ideal icosahedron around Pd, composed of Pd-Zr pairs with covalent nature, is suggested to be one of the important structural features for the easy formation of the nano-icosahedral phase by low temperature annealing.
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