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Direct observation of solid-state reversed transformation from crystals to quasicrystals in a Mg alloy.

ABSTRACT: Phase transformation of quasicrystals is of interest in various fields of science and technology. Interestingly, we directly observed unexpected solid-state epitaxial nucleation and growth of Zn6Mg3Y icosahedral quasicrystals in a Mg alloy at about 573?K which is about 300?K below the melting point of Zn6Mg3Y, in contrast to formation of quasicrystals through solidification that was usually found in many alloys. Maximizing local packing density of atoms associated with segregation of Y and Zn in Mg adjacent to Mg/Zn3MgY interfaces triggered atomic rearrangement in Mg to form icosahedra coupled epitaxially with surface distorted icosahedra of Zn3MgY, which plays a critical role in the nucleation of icosahedral clusters. A local Zn:Mg:Y ratio close to 6:3:1, corresponding to a valence electron concentration of about 2.15, should have been reached to trigger the formation of quasicrystals at Mg/Zn3MgY interfaces. The solid-state icosahedral ordering in crystals opens a new window for growing quasicrystals and understanding their atomic origin mechanisms. Epitaxial growth of quasicrystals onto crystals can modify the surface/interface structures and properties of crystalline materials.

PROVIDER: S-EPMC4464364 | BioStudies |

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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