Atomic-scale chemical imaging and quantification of metallic alloy structures by energy-dispersive x-ray spectroscopy

Ping Lu, Lin Zhou, M. J. Kramer, David Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

42 Scopus citations

Abstract

Determination of atomic-scale crystal structure for nanostructured intermetallic alloys, such as magnetic alloys containing Al, Ni, Co (alnico) and Fe, is crucial for understanding physical properties such as magnetism, but technically challenging due to the small interatomic distances and the similar atomic numbers. By applying energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS) mapping to the study of two intermetallic phases of an alnico alloy resulting from spinodal decomposition, we have determined atomic-scale chemical composition at individual lattice sites for the two phases: one is the B2 phase with Fe 0.76 Co 0.24 -Fe 0.40 Co 0.60 ordering and the other is the L2 1 phase with Ni 0.48 Co 0.52 at A-sites, Al at B Ι -sites and Fe 0.20 Ti 0.80 at B ΙΙ -sites, respectively. The technique developed through this study represents a powerful real-space approach to investigate structure chemically at the atomic scale for a wide range of materials systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number3945
JournalScientific reports
Volume4
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 4 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

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