Revealing the ultra-low-temperature relaxation peak in a model metallic glass

B Wang and LJ Wang and BS Shang and XQ Gao and Y Yang and HY Bai and MX Pan and WH Wang and PF Guan, ACTA MATERIALIA, 195, 611-620 (2020).

DOI: 10.1016/j.actamat.2020.05.067

By systematically investigating the relaxation behavior of a model metallic glass based on the extensive molecular dynamics (MD) simulations combined with the dynamic mechanical spectroscopy method, a pronounced ultra-low temperature peak on the loss modulus spectrum was discovered for the first time in MD simulations. It was found that the relaxation peak occurs at a much lower temperature than the typical temperature for the conventional beta relation peak as reported in the literature. According to the atomic displacement analysis, we unravel that the reversible atomic motions, rather than the thermal vibrations or local structural rearrangements, mainly contribute to this relaxation peak. We further identify the atomic level mechanism of this fast relaxation process by characterizing the local geometrical anisotropy. Furthermore, by tracing the dynamic behaviors of these "reversible" atoms, we demonstrate the intrinsic hierarchy of the relaxation modes, which are triggered by atomic vibrations and gradually developed to include the reversible and irreversible atomic movements. Our findings provide an important piece of the puzzle about the holistic picture of the rich relaxation processes in metallic glasses. (C) 2020 Acta Materialia Inc. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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