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Publication : Nano-precipitates made of atomic pillars revealed by single atom detection in a Mg-Nd alloy

W. Lefebvre, V. Kopp, and C. Pareige

par LABGPM - publié le

Appl. Phys. Lett. 100, 141906 (2012) ; DOI : 10.1063/1.3701272

Abstract :
We report on the atomic architecture of metastable precipitates in a model Mg-0.5 at. %Nd system. High resolution Z-contrast observations in scanning transmission electron microscopy demonstrate that a common elementary structure, made of Nd atomic pillars, is shared by precipitates involved in the early decomposition of the system. A combination of Z-contrast projections has been used to establish the accurate location of Nd atoms in the atomic pillars, therefore allowing the determination of structure and composition of precipitates. Other precipitates compositions are extrapolated by means of a quantitative analysis.



Rough HAADF-STEM images of Mg-0.51 at. %Nd alloy observed along the [0001] zone axis of the magnesium matrix. The alloy has been age for 101h (a) or 864h (b) and (c) at 150°C