Effect of component substitution on the atomic dynamics in glass-forming binary metallic melts
AbstractWe investigate the substitution of early transition metals (Zr, Hf, and Nb) in Ni-based binary glass-forming metallic melts and the impact on structural and dynamical properties by using a combination of neutron scattering, electrostatic levitation (ESL), and isotopic substitution. The self-diffusion coefficients measured by quasielastic neutron scattering (QENS) identify a sluggish diffusion as well as an increased activation energy by almost a factor of 2 for Hf35Ni65 compared to Zr36Ni64. This finding can be explained by the locally higher packing density of Hf atoms in Hf35Ni65 compared to Zr atoms in Zr36Ni64, which has been derived from interatomic distances by analyzing the measured partial structure factors. Furthermore, QENS measurements of liquid Hf35Ni65 prepared with Ni60, which has a vanishing incoherent scattering cross section, have demonstrated that self-diffusion of Hf is slowed down compared to the concentration weighted self-diffusion of Hf and Ni. This implies a dynamical decoupling between larger Hf and smaller Ni atoms, which can be related to a saturation effect of unequal atomic nearest-neighbor pairs, that was observed recently for Ni-rich compositions in Zr-Ni metallic melts. In order to establish a structure-dynamics relation, measured partial structure factors have been used as an input for mode-coupling theory (MCT) of the glass transition to calculate self-diffusion coefficients for the different atomic components. Remarkably, MCT can reproduce the increased activation energy for Hf35Ni65 as well as the dynamical decoupling between Hf and Ni atoms.