The paper presents molecular dynamics and -statics simulations of a prototypical mono-atomic metallic system (aluminum) and its defects in the crystalline and glassy states. It is shown that there is a thermodynamic driving force for the association of dumbbell interstitials in the crystalline lattice into clusters consisting of different amounts of defects. Clusters containing seven interstitials constitute perfect icosahedra. Within the general framework of the interstitialcy theory, melting of simple metallic crystals is intrinsically related to a rapid increase of the concentration of dumbbell interstitials, which remain identifiable structural units in the liquid state. Then, the glass produced by rapid melt quenching contains interstitial-type defects. The idea of the present work is to argue that the major structural feature of many metallic glasses—icosahedral ordering—originates from the clustering of interstitial-type defects frozen-in upon melt quenching. Separate defects and their small clusters represent the defect part of the glassy structure.
Journal of Physics: Condensed Matter – Institute of Physics Publishing
Published: Sep 25, 2019
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