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Plastic zone at crack tip: A nanolab for formation and study of metallic glassy nanostructures

  • X.X. Xia, Wei H. Wang (a1) and A. Lindsay Greer (a2)


We report that various metallic glassy nanostructures including nanoridges, nanocones, nanowires, nanospheres, and nanoscale-striped patterns are spontaneously formed on the fracture surface of bulk metallic glasses at room temperature. A clear correlation between the dimensions of these nanostructures and the size of the plastic zone at the crack tip has been found, providing a way to control nanostructure sizes by controlling the plastic zone size intrinsically or extrinsically. This approach to forming metallic glassy nanostructures also has implications for understanding the deformation and fracture mechanisms of metallic glasses.


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