Geometric Frustration of Icosahedron in Metallic Glasses

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Science  11 Jul 2013:
DOI: 10.1126/science.1232450

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Icosahedral order has been suggested as the prevalent atomic motif of supercooled liquids and metallic glasses for over a half century because the icosahedron is highly close packing but difficult to grow owing to structure frustration and the lack of translational periodicity. By means of angstrom-beam electron diffraction of single icosahedra, we report experimental observation of local icosahedral order in metallic glasses. All the detected icosahedra were found to be distorted with partially face centered cubic symmetry, presenting compelling evidence on geometric frustration of local icosahedral order in metallic glasses.

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