Amorphous materials have no long-range order, but there are ordered structures at short range (2–5 Å), medium range (5–20 Å) and even longer length scales. In bulk metallic glass, the short-range order or the fundamental building block are usually characterized by solute-centered clusters. However, an open question remains as to how the clusters are connected during structure evolutions induced by temperature or mechanical deformation. In this talk, we discuss the idea of cluster connectivity in light of recent experimental results . We apply the concept to explain structural changes during crystallization, mechanical deformation, and liquid-to-liquid phase transformation. We demonstrate that in these examples, it is the connectivity between clusters at medium-range scale, that drives the dynamic response.
1. S. Lan et al., Nature Materials, 2021, https://doi.org/10.1038/s41563-021-01011-5 <br>