The usefulness of first-principles calculations for studying solute-atom clustering in metal alloys is discussed. This usefulness stems directly from the properties predicted by the calculations or via a related interpretation of experimental results. In this paper we review the results of our computational studies on small solute clusters in Al-based alloys. The predicted coincidence Doppler broadening spectra of the positron annihilation method are used to analyse experimental results. The calculated binding energies of small solute atom clusters explain why Cu atoms form two-dimensional platelets on the (100) planes in Al whereas Zn forms three-dimensional clusters.
- Aluminum alloys
- electronic structure calculation