Nature communications

Unusual fast secondary relaxation in metallic glass.

PMID 26204999


The relaxation spectrum of glassy solids has long been used to probe their dynamic structural features and the fundamental deformation mechanisms. Structurally complicated glasses, such as molecular glasses, often exhibit multiple relaxation processes. By comparison, metallic glasses have a simple atomic structure with dense atomic packing, and their relaxation spectra were commonly found to be simpler than those of molecular glasses. Here we show the compelling evidence obtained across a wide range of temperatures and frequencies from a La-based metallic glass, which clearly shows two peaks of secondary relaxations (fast versus slow) in addition to the primary relaxation peak. The discovery of the unusual fast secondary relaxation unveils the complicated relaxation dynamics in metallic glasses and, more importantly, provides us the clues which help decode the structural features serving as the 'trigger' of inelasticity on mechanical agitations.