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Ultrastable metallic glasses formed on cold substrates 2020-03-15

Vitrification from physical vapor deposition is known to be an efficient way for tuning the kinetic and thermodynamic stability of glasses and significantly improve their properties. There is a general consensus that preparing stable glasses requires the use of high substrate temperatures close to the glass transition one, Tg. Here, we challenge this empirical rule by showing the formation of Zr-based ultrastable metallic glasses (MGs) at room temperature, i.e., with a substrate temperature of only 0.43Tg. By carefully controlling the deposition rate, we can improve the stability of the obtained glasses to higher values. In contrast to conventional quenched glasses, the ultrastable MGs exhibit a large increase of Tg of ∼60K, stronger resistance against crystallization, and more homogeneous structure with less order at longer distances. Our study circumvents the limitation of substrate temperature for developing ultrastable glasses, and provides deeper insight into glasses stability and their surface dynamics.

NatureCommunications8,1389(2018).pdf 

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