Microscopy and Microanalysis

Materials Applications

Using Fluctuation Microscopy to Characterize Structural Order in Metallic Glasses

Jing  Li  a1 , X.  Gu  a1 and T.C.  Hufnagel  a1 c1
a1 Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD 21218-2681, USA

Article author query
li j   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
gu x   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
hufnagel tc   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 


We have used fluctuation microscopy to reveal the presence of structural order on length scales of 1–2 nm in metallic glasses. We compare results of fluctuation microscopy measurements with high resolution transmission electron microscopy and electron diffraction observations on a series of metallic glass samples with differing degrees of structural order. The agreement between the fluctuation microscopy results and those of the other techniques is good. In particular, we show that the technique used to make thin specimens for electron microscopy affects the structure of the metallic glass, with ion thinning inducing more structural order than electropolishing. We also show that relatively minor changes in the composition of the alloy can have a significant effect on the medium-range order; this increased order is correlated with changes in mechanical behavior.

(Received June 5 2002)
(Accepted February 13 2003)

Key Words: metallic glass; fluctuation microscopy; medium-range order.

c1 Corresponding author. E-mail: hufnagel@jhu.edu