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Title: Data-driven electron-diffraction approach reveals local short-range ordering in CrCoNi with ordering effects

The exceptional mechanical strength of medium/high-entropy alloys has been attributed to hardening in random solid solutions. Here, we evidence non-random chemical mixing in a CrCoNi alloy, resulting from short-range ordering. A data-mining approach of electron nanodiffraction enabled the study, which is assisted by neutron scattering, atom probe tomography, and diffraction simulation using first-principles theory models. Two samples, one homogenized and one heat-treated, are observed. In both samples, results reveal two types of short-range-order inside nanoclusters that minimize the Cr–Cr nearest neighbors (L12) or segregate Cr on alternating close-packed planes (L11). The L11is predominant in the homogenized sample, while the L12formation is promoted by heat-treatment, with the latter being accompanied by a dramatic change in dislocation-slip behavior. These findings uncover short-range order and the resulted chemical heterogeneities behind the mechanical strength in CrCoNi, providing general opportunities for atomistic-structure study in concentrated alloys for the design of strong and ductile materials.

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Nature Publishing Group
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Nature Communications
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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