Nano Convergence (Nov 2023)

Phase patterning of metallic glasses through superfast quenching of ion irradiation-induced thermal spikes

  • Hyosim Kim,
  • Tianyao Wang,
  • Jonathan Gigax,
  • Arezoo Zare,
  • Don A. Lucca,
  • Zhihan Hu,
  • Yongchang Li,
  • Trevor Parker,
  • Lin Shao

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 10, no. 1
pp. 1 – 9


Read online

Abstract Amorphous metallic glasses (MGs) convert to crystalline solids upon annealing at a high temperature. Such a phase change, however, does not occur with the local melting caused by damage cascades introduced by ion irradiation, although the resulting thermal spikes can reach temperatures > 1000 K. This is because the quenching rate of the local melting zone is several orders of magnitude higher than the critical cooling rate for MG formation. Thus the amorphous structure is sustained. This mechanism increases the highest temperature at which irradiated MG sustains amorphous phase. More interestingly, if an irradiated MG is pre-annealed to form a polycrystalline structure, ion irradiation can locally convert this crystalline phase to an amorphous phase if the grains are nanometers in size and comparable to the damage cascade volume size. Combining pre-annealing and site selective ion irradiation, patterned crystalline-amorphous heterogeneous structures have been fabricated. This finding opens new doors for various applications.