Metallic glasses are still poorly understood, especially the lack of long-range order. In a bottom-up approach, researchers from the Colorado School of Mines have studied the chemical interactions between clusters underlying the acrystalline behavior of glass formers. The Cu-Zr binary systems display a rich cluster chemistry leading to rich interconnections ultimately resulting in glass formation. The electronic characteristics of a binary metal system determine whether a glass is likely to form, in particular a high density of states of the solute metal near the Fermi edge of the solvating metal.
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T. E. Jones, J. Miorelli, and M. E. Eberhart, Reactive cluster model of metallic glasses, J. Chem. Phys. 140, 084501 (2014).Key conceptsADF bonding analysis inorganic chemistry nanoscience Relativistic DFT