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  1. The authors recently reported that undercooled liquid Ag and Ag–Cu alloys both exhibit a first order phase transition from the homogeneous liquid (L-phase) to a heterogeneous solid-like G-phase under isothermal evolution. Here, we report a similar L–G transition and heterogenous G-phase in simulations of liquid Cu–Zr bulk glass. The thermodynamic description and kinetic features (viscosity) of the L-G-phase transition in Cu–Zr simulations suggest it corresponds to experimentally reported liquid–liquid phase transitions in Vitreloy 1 (Vit1) and other Cu–Zr-bearing bulk glass forming alloys. The Cu–Zr G-phase has icosahedrally ordered cores versus fcc/hcp core structures in Ag and Ag–Cu with a notablymore »smaller heterogeneity length scale Λ . We propose the L–G transition is a phenomenon in metallic liquids associated with the emergence of elastic rigidity. The heterogeneous core–shell nano-composite structure likely results from accommodating strain mismatch of stiff core regions by more compliant intervening liquid-like medium.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available December 22, 2022
  2. An experimental study of the configurational thermodynamics for a series of near-eutectic Pt80-xCuxP20bulk metallic glass-forming alloys is reported where 14 <x< 27. The undercooled liquid alloys exhibit very high fragility that increases asxdecreases, resulting in an increasingly sharp glass transition. With decreasingx, the extrapolated Kauzmann temperature of the liquid,TK, becomes indistinguishable from the conventionally defined glass transition temperature,Tg. Forx< 17, the observed liquid configurational enthalpy vs.Tdisplays a marked discontinuous drop or latent heat at a well-defined freezing temperature,Tgm. The entropy drop for this first-order liquid/glass transition is approximately two-thirds of the entropy of fusion of the crystallized eutectic alloy. BelowTgm,more »the configurational entropy of the frozen glass continues to fall rapidly, approaching that of the crystallized eutectic solid in the low T limit. The so-called Kauzmann paradox, with negative liquid entropy (vs. the crystalline state), is averted and the liquid configurational entropy appears to comply with the third law of thermodynamics. Despite their ultrafragile character, the liquids atx= 14 and 16 are bulk glass formers, yielding fully glassy rods up to 2- and 3-mm diameter on water quenching in thin-wall silica tubes. The low Cu content alloys are definitive examples of glasses that exhibit first-order melting.

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  3. A molten metal is an atomic liquid that lacks directional bonding and is free from chemical ordering effects. Experimentally, liquid metals can be undercooled by up to ∼20% of their melting temperature but crystallize rapidly in subnanosecond time scales at deeper undercooling. To address this limited metastability with respect to crystallization, we employed molecular dynamics simulations to study the thermodynamics and kinetics of the glass transition and crystallization in deeply undercooled liquid Ag. We present direct evidence that undercooled liquid Ag undergoes a first-order configurational freezing transition from the high-temperature homogeneous disordered liquid phase (L) to a metastable, heterogeneous, configura-tionallymore »ordered state that displays elastic rigidity with a persistent and finite shear modulus, μ. We designate this ordered state as the G-phase and conclude it is a metastable non-crystalline phase. We show that the L−G transition occurs by nucleation of the G-phase from the L-phase. Both te L- and G-phases are metastable because both ultimately crystallize. The observed first-order transition is reversible: the G-phase displays a first-order melting transition to the L-phase at a coexistence temperature, TG,M. We develop a thermodynamic description of the two phases and their coexistence boundary.« less