A transmission electron microscopy study has revealed that the banded microstructure produced in Cu-61.7 at. pct. Ag after surface laser melting and resolidification is not due to a cellular breakdown of the interface as previously thought, but consists of alternating regions of the extended metastable solid solution, y, and a coupled growth structure containing thin plates of y and the copper-rich phase β'. The spacing of this coupled growth structure is approximately 100 Å, which is less than half the minimum spacing yet observed for coupled growth from the melt in Ag-Cu.
In order to explain the banded microstructure a theoretical model has been developed based on a finite elements solution of the diffusion equation in the melt, the interface response functions for continuous growth derived by Aziz and Kaplan and a recently developed theory for coupled growth that includes far-from-equilibrium regimes by Yankov et al..