Although nanoscale spatial heterogeneity of metallic glasses has been demonstrated by extensive experimental and theoretical investigations, the nature of spatial heterogeneity remains poorly known owing to the absence of a structural depiction of the inhomogeneity from experimental insight. Here we report the experimental characterization of the spatial heterogeneity of a metallic glass by utilizing state-of-the-art angstrom-beam electron diffraction and scanning transmission electron microscopy. The subnanoscale electron diffraction reveals that the nanoscale spatial heterogeneity and corresponding density fluctuation have a close correlation with the local structure variation from icosahedronlike to tetragonal crystal-like order. The structural insights of spatial heterogeneity have important implications in understanding the properties and dynamics of metallic glasses.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy(all)