Shear banding instability in multicomponent metallic glasses: Interplay of composition and short-range order

Kamran Karimi*, Amin Esfandiarpour, René Alvarez-Donado, Mikko J. Alava, Stefanos Papanikolaou

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)
34 Downloads (Pure)


The shear-banding instability in quasistatically driven bulk metallic glasses emerges from collective dynamics, mediated by shear transformation zones and associated nonlocal elastic interactions. It is also phenomenologically known that sharp structural features of shear bands are typically correlated to the sharpness of the plastic yielding transition, being predominant in commonly studied alloys composed of multiple different elements, that have very different atomic radii. However, in the opposite limit where elements' radii are relatively similar, plastic yielding of bulk metallic glasses is highly dependent on compositional and ordering features. In particular, a known mechanism at play involves the formation of short-range order dominated by icosahedra-based clusters. Here, we report on atomistic simulations of multicomponent metallic glasses with different chemical compositions showing that the degree of strain localization is largely controlled by the interplay between composition-driven icosahedra-ordering and collectively-driven shear transformation zones. By altering compositions, strain localization ranges from diffuse homogenized patterns to singular crack-like features. We quantify the dynamical yielding transition by measuring the atoms' susceptibility to plastic rearrangements, strongly correlated to the local atomic structure. We find that the abundance of short-range ordering of icosahedra within rearranging zones increases glassy materials' capacity to delocalize strain. This could be understood on the basis of structural heterogeneities that are enhanced by the presence of local order. The kind of plastic yielding can be often qualitatively inferred by the commonly used compositional descriptor that characterizes element associations, the misfit parameter da, and also by uncommon ones, such as shear-band width and shear-band dynamics' correlation parameters.

Original languageEnglish
Article number094117
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
JournalPhysical Review B
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 28 Mar 2022
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


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