Nanocrystalline solids are polycrystals the crystal size of which is a few (typically 1 to 10) nanometers so that 50% or more of the solid consists of incoherent interfaces between crystals of different crystallographic orientations. Materials consisting primarily of internal interfaces represent a separate state of solid matter because the atomic arrangements formed in the cores of interfaces are known to be arrangements of minimum energy in the potentials field of the adjacent crystal lattices. The boundary conditions imposed on the atoms in the interfacial cores by the adjacent crystal lattices, result in atomic structures in the interfacial cores which cannot be formed elsewhere (e.g. in glasses or perfect crystals). Nanocrystalline materials seem to be of interest for the following four reasons:
  1. (1)

    Nanocrystalline materials exhibit atomic structures which differ from the two known solid state structures: the crystalline and the glassy state.

  2. (2)

    The properties of nanocrystalline materials differ (in some cases by several orders of magnitude) from those of glasses and/or crystals with the same chemical composition.

  3. (3)

    Nanocrystalline materials seem to permit the alloying of conventionally insoluble components.

  4. (4)

    If small (1 to 10 nm diameter) glassy droplets are consolidated (instead of small crystals), a new type of glasses, called nanoglasses, is obtained. Such glasses seem to differ structurally from glasses generated by rapid solidification.



Atomic Structure Quadrupole Splitting Nanocrystalline Material Atomic Arrangement Nanocrystalline Alloy 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin, Heidelberg 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • H. Gleiter
    • 1
  1. 1.Institut für Neue MaterialienUniversität des SaarlandesSaarbrückenGermany

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