Structure and properties of amorphous metallic alloys : a first principles study

Kim, Hyun Woo
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Utilization of amorphous metallic alloy has received much attention for use in numerous microelectronic and electrochemical devices since they provide unique electrical, thermal conductivity, and magnetic properties. To develop these functional properties, it is essential to understand the amorphous structure and the property relationships. First principles calculations provide insight into the structure, thermodynamic stability, electronic and magnetic properties of amorphous alloys. For Ru- and Co-based alloys, the thermodynamic stability was examined by calculating the mixing energy along with those of crystalline counterparts. The amorphous RuP, CoP, RuB, and CoB alloys, become energetically more favorable than their crystalline counterparts at moderate P(B) content. The atomistic structures have well-defined local structures depending on the atomic size ratio and electronic interactions between constituent elements. Their local ordering is attributed to strong p-d hybridization, which contributes to stabilizing the Ru(Co)-P(B) alloys. Surface segregation of P(B) and interfacial adhesion with copper were also studied. Li-X (X: Si, Ge, and Sn) were examined when 1 or 2 Li atoms are inserted into the interstitial sites. Li insertion in the tetrahedral site, which is the most preferable site in the diamond matrix, causes outward displacement and charge localization around the X neighbors, thereby weakening of the covalent bonds leading to destabilization of the host matrix. We present the energetics, structure, electronic and mechanical properties of crystalline and amorphous Li-X (X: Si, Ge, Sn, and Si+Sn) alloys. Our calculations show that the incorporation of Li leads to disintegration of the tetrahedrally-bonded X network into small clusters of various shapes. Electronic structure analysis highlights that the charge transfer leads to weakening or breaking of X bonds with the growing splitting between s and p states, and consequently the Li-X alloys softens with increasing Li content.