Structure and Physical Properties of an Amorphous Cu57Zr43 Alloy
Some structural, thermal, and electronic properties of amorphous Cu-Zr alloys have been investigated by x-ray scattering, specific heat, positron annihilation, and electrical resistivity measurements. X-ray scattering patterns for sputtered and for rapidly-quenched-from-the-liquid Cu-Zr alloys of ∿40 at. % Zr are nearly identical, indicating that the atomic scale structure of these alloys is not grossly affected by preparation method. Rapidly quenched Cu57Zr43 has a Debye temperature of ∿200°K, which is 13% lower than that found for the crystalline form of this alloy, presumed to be a mixture of Cu3Zr2 and CuZr, although the electronic specific heat γ = 3 x 10−3 J/mole °K2 is nearly the same for both forms of the alloy and is quite close to that of crystalline Zr. The electron momentum distributions for amorphous and for crystalline Cu57Zr43 are very similar, from positron annihilation experiments, and fall between those of polycrystalline Cu and of polycrystalline Zr, lying somewhat closer to the latter. The electrical resistivity of the amorphous binary alloy increases slightly with decreasing temperature, but the resistivity irreversibly increases by about 3% at ∿450°C when the alloy undergoes crystallization.
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