The coarsening of crystalline nanoparticles, driven by reduction of surface energy, is the main factor behind the degeneration of their physical and chemical properties. The kinetic phenomenon has been well described by various models, such as Ostwald ripening and coalescence. However, the coarsening mechanisms of metallic glass nanoparticles (MGNs) remains largely unknown. Here we report atomic-scale observations on the coarsening kinetics of MGNs at high temperatures by in situ heating high-resolution transmission electron microscopy. The coarsening of the amorphous nanoparticles takes place by fast coalescence which is dominated by facet-free surface diffusion at a lower onset temperature. Atomic-scale observations and kinetic Monte Carlo simulations suggest that the high surface mobility and the structural isotropy of MGNs, originating from the disordered structure and unique supercooled liquid state, promote the fast coalescence of the amorphous nanoparticles at relatively lower temperatures.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Physics and Astronomy(all)