Dynamic Observation of Dendritic Quasicrystal Growth upon Laser-Induced Solid-State Transformation

IS Han and JT McKeown and L Tang and CZ Wang and H Parsamehr and ZC Xi and YR Lu and MJ Kramer and AJ Shahani, PHYSICAL REVIEW LETTERS, 125, 195503 (2020).

DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.125.195503

We report the laser-induced solid-state transformation between a periodic "approximant" and quasicrystal in the Al-Cr system during rapid quenching. Dynamic transmission electron microscopy allows us to capture in situ the dendritic growth of the metastable quasicrystals. The formation of dendrites during solid-state transformation is a rare phenomenon, which we attribute to the structural similarity between the two intermetallics. Through ab initio molecular dynamics simulations, we identify the dominant structural motif to be a 13-atom icosahedral cluster transcending the phases of matter.

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